A U.S. Navy ship fires warning shots at an armed Iranian patrol boat in the Persian Gulf. "The Iranian vessel did not respond to repeated attempts to establish radio communications as it approached", a CENTCOM spokesman said in an emailed statement to reporters. The Iranian ship came within 1,100 yards of the USS Mahan, closing the distance even after the USA ship maneuvered to open the distance.
"This morning, a U.S. Navy ship in the north of the Persian Gulf sailed toward an IRGC Navy's patrol ship, which was patrolling in worldwide waters, and fired two shots into the air with the aim of provocation and intimidation", the IRGC said in the statement.
The Iranian boat, believed to be operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, came within 150 yards of the USS Thunderbolt as Navy warships were involved in a formation exercise in the northern Persian Gulf.
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The Iranian vessel is thought to have been part of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and is believed to have been armed, although the United States said the weapons were unmanned.
The Iranian boat went "dead in the water" after the shots and the vessels all left the area without further incident, the official said.
The incident involving the USS Thunderbolt, which is based in Bahrain as part of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, is the latest confrontation between Iranian and U.S. assets in the region. Last month, an Iranian vessel aimed a laser at a US helicopter as it traveled with Pentagon warships in global waters in the Strait of Hormuz.
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Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard instead blamed the Thunderbolt for the incident in a statement, saying the American vessel moved toward one of its patrol boats in the incident. No warning shots were fired.
In January, the destroyer USS Mahan had fired a flare, warning sign, a ship of the Guardians of the iranian revolution which was approaching him.
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