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U.S. Ship Fires Warning Shots At Iranian Vessel


A U.S. Navy ship has fired warning shots after an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps fast-attack craft harassed the American patrol craft, U.S. officials say.

During the August 25 incident, the USS Squall "resorted to firing three warning shots from their 50-caliber gun, which caused the Iranian vessel to turn away," Navy spokesman Bill Urban said.

Officials said the incident took place in the north of the Persian Gulf.

The United States earlier reported another incident in which it said Iranian vessels harassed a U.S. warship near the Strait of Hormuz on August 23.

"At this point, it's not clear what the intentions of the Iranian ships were, but the behavior is not acceptable, given that this U.S. ship was in international waters," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Earlier, Tehran had said its vessels accused of harassing a U.S. warship had only been carrying out their regular duties monitoring foreign ships near Iranian waters, and warned that Iran’s naval forces will confront any ship entering its territorial waters.

"If an American ship enters Iran's maritime region, it will definitely get a warning,” ISNA news agency quoted Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan as saying on August 25. “We will monitor them and, if they violate our waters, we will confront them."

The warning comes after four small boats from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps sailed near the guided missile destroyer USS Nitze on August 23 in the Persian Gulf.

The U.S. Navy described the encounter as "unsafe and unprofessional" and said it occurred in international waters in the Strait of Hormuz.

Based on reporting by Reuters, CNN, and AP

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