Four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boats came within 300 yards of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Nitze on August 23 in the latest run-in between U.S. and Iran in the Persian Gulf.
The Iranian boats carried out a high-speed intercept of the U.S. destroyer which was described as “unsafe and unprofessional” by one of the sailors aboard USS Nitze filming the incident.
According to reports, USS Nitze attempted to establish radio communication on 12 different occasions without success while the video shows flares being fired from the destroyer as a warning. The ship also used it whistle to blast a danger signal.
This incident is the latest in a series of interactions between the paramilitary Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and U.S. and U.K. vessels.
Prior to this, Iranian vessels captured 10 US Navy soldiers at gunpoint after they strayed into Iranian waters. The soldiers were released after spending a night captured on Farsi Island where they were filmed, and later broadcast on national TV, apologizing for their actions.
Prior to that, Iran staged naval drills during which live-fire missiles were fired near the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. Iranians harassed the same carrier a month later when they flew a drone over the carrier while Iranian media reported that a submarine managed to approach the carrier’s strike group without being noticed.
On one occasion in 2015, IRGCN forces captured 15 Royal Navy sailors aboard HMS Cornwall while on another, they captured U.S. flagged commercial ship M/V Maersk Tigris which was held in Iran for a week.