US Navy and Coastal Guard harassed by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels in international waters
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The US 5th Fleet confirmed that on Wednesday a group of US Navy and Coastal Guard ships were subjected to about an hour of “dangerous and provocative” harassment from eleven Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels. The US ships were conducting joint integration operations with US Army helicopters in the international waters of the North Arabian Gulf when they were approached by the Iranian vessels.
In a statement, the Naval Forces Central Command said: “IRGCN vessels repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns of the U.S. vessels at extremely close range and high speeds, including multiple crossings of the Puller with a 50 yard closest point of approach (CPA).” The Iranian vessels also came within 10 yards of the bow of USCGC Maui, one of the US ships involved.
Responding to the harassment, crews on the US vessels gave the Iranian vessels a series of warnings, the Naval Command statement said. The warnings were issued through bridge-to-bridge radio and five short blasts from the ships’ horns and long-range acoustic noise maker devices. However, the warnings “received no response from the IRGCN” for some time.
After about an hour, the Navy’s statement said, the IRGCN vessels “responded to the bridge-to-bridge radio queries, then maneuvered away from the U.S. ships and opened distance between them.”
In its statement, the Navy said the IRGCN actions had “increased the risk of miscalculation and collision” and were not in accordance with the “rules of the road” or internationally recognized maritime customs. Moreover, the Iranian vessels had not acted in accordance with their obligation under international law to have due regard for the safety of other vessels.
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