An Iranian missile boat has sent a warning signal to a US Navy ship that closed on an Iranian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf, the press service of the Iranian Navy said Sunday in a statement.
According to the statement, Iranian fishing boat Shams was traveling 45 nautical miles off the Jask port in Iran’s Hormozgan province testing its engine, when it started to sink. Upon receiving a distress signal from Shams, Iranian Navy missile boat Falahen set off to rescue the sinking boat.
“It is reported that a US Navy ship with the vessel number 02 approached the mentioned [fishing boat] when the missile boat ‘Falahen’ sent a warning signal and forced the ship to leave the area,” the statement read.
The crew of the boat in distress was rescued. So far, the cause of the incident is still unidentified.
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The incident is one of many times when US’ and Iranian maritime forces have come dangerously near conflict and likely will not be the last. In a similar incident in August, Pentagon officials said Iranian speedboats had “harassed” US warships in the Strait of Hormuz. They claimed that Iranian boats moved close to two US Navy destroyers with their weapons uncovered in the strait in an “unsafe and unprofessional” encounter.
Iranian-US relations have been strained for decades since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and resulted in multiple incidents in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. One of the most well-known incidents occurred on July 3, 1988, when the US guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes downed an Iranian passenger jet heading for Dubai, leaving 290 people dead.