Iranian Ships Approach US Ships in Strait of Hormuz
00:36, Mar 8, 2017
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Stand offs between USA ships and Iranian vessels have become a regular occurrence on the Strait of Hormuz, which is a narrow passage that leads from the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea.
The three ships from the British Royal Navy were accompanying the US Invincible, a tracking ship equipped with antennas and electronics to support the launching and tracking of missiles and rockets.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official indicated that the vessels advanced to within 600 yards of the tracking ship, USNS Invincible before stopping. The prefix "USNS" means the ship belongs to the U.S. Navy but is unarmed or only lightly armed. The Saturday incident was also more worrying as it involved the elite Revolutionary Guard unit.
Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile in February, in apparent violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution; the incident led to USA economic sanctions against 13 people and 12 businesses in Iran.
Similar incidents between the United States and Iran has occurred earlier.
A USA official described the Iranian action as "unsafe and unprofessional".
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Iran has previously threatened to close off the strait in the past over tensions with the U.S., a move that would lead to turmoil in global oil markets. The gulf separates Oman from southeastern Iran.
This picture released by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on January 13, 2016, shows detained US Navy sailors' boats in custody of the guard in the Persian Gulf.
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In November, a small Iranian vessel allegedly pointed a gun at a US Navy helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz, in worldwide waters, according to the Pentagon.
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