An Iranian Navy patrol boat “attempted to blind” a U.S. guided-missile destroyer vessel in international waters late Monday and then conducted maneuvers that almost caused a collision between the warships, according to U.S. Central Command.
The Iranian patrol boat, which CENTCOM said was controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), conducted the “unsafe and unprofessional” maneuvers in a bid to harass American war ships operating in the region. Iran routinely stalks American war vessels in the region and has come close several times to initiating a conflict. The IRGC, Iran’s paramilitary fighting force, also has threatened repeatedly to attack and destroy American ships operating in international waters near Iran.
“This dangerous action in international waters is indicative of Iran’s destabilizing activity across the Middle East,” Col. Joe Buccino, a CENTCOM spokesman, said in a statement explaining the incident.
Iran’s navy has spent great resources updating and building out its lethal capabilities amid an ongoing threat to initiate conflict with U.S. or other Western forces stationed in the region. Iranian military leaders, for instance, announced on Tuesday that their navy forces possess missiles with a range of up to 1,000 kilometers, putting them well within distance of U.S. and Israeli military assets.