U.S. warning fire halts Iranian boat
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A U.S. Navy patrol boat fired warning shots Tuesday near an Iranian vessel that American sailors said moved dangerously close to them during a tense encounter in the Persian Gulf.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard later blamed the American ship for provoking the incident.
The USS Thunderbolt, a Cyclone-class patrol ship based in Bahrain as part of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, was taking part in an exercise with American and other coalition vessels in international waters when the Iranian patrol boat approached it, 5th Fleet spokesman Lt. Ian McConnaughey said.
The Iranian ship did not respond to radio calls, flares and horn blasts as it moved within 150 yards of the Thunderbolt, forcing the U.S. sailors aboard to fire the warning shots, McConnaughey said.
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard instead blamed the Thunderbolt for the incident, saying in a statement that the American vessel moved toward one of its patrol boats. It said the Thunderbolt fired into the air “with the intention to provoke and create fear.”