Centcom: Iranian boat engaged in 'unsafe and unprofessional' encounter with US warships

Situation de-escalated through non-lethal lasers and audible warnings

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans and the Military Sealift Command joint high-speed vessel USNS Choctaw County transit through the Strait of Hormuz August 8, 2018. Picture taken August 8, 2018.  U.S. Navy/Lt. Daphne White/Handout via REUTERS.  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
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An Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy patrol boat came within about 150 metres of two American warships in the Strait of Hormuz, but the “unsafe and unprofessional” situation was de-escalated, the US military's Central Command said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Centcom said the incident took place on Monday during a routine transit in international waters by expeditionary sea base platform ship USS Lewis B Puller and guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans.

“The Iranian vessel attempted to blind the bridge by shining a spotlight and crossed within 150 yards of the US ships — dangerously close, particularly at night,” Centcom said in a statement.

The situation was de-escalated with the help of audible warnings and the non-lethal use of lasers.

Centcom spokesman Col Joe Buccino said the “dangerous action in international waters is indicative of Iran’s destabilising activity across the Middle East”.

The USS Lewis B Puller at the weekend intercepted 50 tonnes of weaponry bound for Yemen from a fishing trawler on a key maritime smuggling route used by Tehran, US officials said.

US navy seizes deadly weapons on Iran-Yemen smuggling route — in pictures

Updated: June 20, 2023, 11:37 AM