Iran brags it scared off US ship

Iran claims it warned off a US Navy warship during the rescue of a boat, contradicting American officials who say there was no direct contact.

Iran claims it warned off a US Navy warship during a rescue of a boat in the Gulf of Oman, while American officials say there was no direct contact.

The US Navy said Sunday the incident happened Wednesday and involved a small vessel some 75 nautical miles from the USS Tempest, a coastal patrol boat. The Navy says another boat much closer offered assistance, with that vessel communicating with Iranian naval forces.

Iran offered a different version of the incident. Press TV, the English-language arm of its state broadcaster, said Sunday that the Iranian navy “warned off an American warship” while rescuing the stranded dhow, a traditional ship.

The US and Iran routinely have tense encounters in the Persian Gulf.

So far this year, the Navy has recorded over 15 instances of what it describes as “unsafe and/or unprofessional” interactions with Iranians forces. It recorded 35 in 2016 and 23 in 2015.

The incidents at sea almost always involved the Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force that reports only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iranian forces view the American presence in the Gulf as a provocation in and of itself. They in turn have accused the US Navy of unprofessional behavior, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil trade by sea passes.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff