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Iranian military vessel 'confronts US warship in the Gulf'

Iranian military vessel 'confronts US warship in the Gulf'

An Iranian military ship has reportedly confronted an American warship in the Gulf, warning it off Iranian territory following increased tensions between the two nations, the Independent reported on Monday.


The US ship turned back upon receiving a warning to stay away from a damaged Iranian fishing boat, according to the Tasnim news agency.

The Iranian ship then towed the fishing boat, which had sent out a distress signal after taking on water, back to shore.

 

The agency did not specify when the incident, close to the Strait of Hormuz, took place.

 

The US Naval Forces Central Command (Navcent) appeared to play down the incident when it denied that any direct contact was made.

It said in a statement the coastal patrol USS Tempest, operating in the Gulf of Oman on 6 September, heard the distress call of an unidentified small boat about 75 nautical miles from its position.

 

The Iranian motor vessel Nordic Voyager was located much closer to the stricken craft, according to Navcent, and offered help at the same time as the US ship.

 

The Tempest offered to support the Nordic Voyager but the offer was declined, Navcent said.

 

Following the radio traffic from a distance, USS Tempest heard the Nordic Voyager coordinate additional Iranian Navy help to tow the vessel in distress back to Iran.

 

“At no time was there any direct contact between the US and Iranian maritime forces,” Navcent spokeswoman Chloe Morgan said.

 

Tensions have increased between the Iranian and American military in the Gulf in recent months after Donald Trump warned during the presidential campaign that any Iranian vessels harassing the US Navy would be “shot out of the water”.

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