“veered close to American warships”

Iranian naval vessels veered close to American warships this week in a series of incidents that American officials described as harassing maneuvers risking dangerous escalation, defense officials said Thursday. The first incident occurred Tuesday, when Iranian ships made provocative maneuvers around a U.S. destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz, officials said. The following day, Iranian vessels came within several hundred meters of other American ships in the Persian Gulf, with one Iranian ship prompting the coastal patrol ship USS Squall to fire warning shots. “These were incidents that the crews deemed unsafe,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters. “These are incidents that carry a risk of escalation, and we don’t desire any kind of escalation. Our ships have been operating in that part of the world for years.” William Urban, a spokesman for the 5th Fleet, said four vessels from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) conducted a “high-speed intercept” in the first incident Tuesday, passing close to the USS Nitze, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, as it transited international waters”.

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