On Saturday, fast-attack vessels belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, a militia group controlled by the chief Ayatollah of Iran, sailed close to a U.S. Navy ship in the Strait of Hormuz, prompting the American vessel to change course. Reuters first reported the development on Monday, following an interview with a U.S. official.
“The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the IRGC boats came within 600 yards of the USNS Invincible, a tracking ship, and stopped,” reported Reuters. “The Invincible was being accompanied by three ships from British Royal Navy and forced the formation to change course.”
“The official said attempts were made to communicate over radio, but there was no response and the interaction was "unsafe and unprofessional,” added the wire service.
This comes just weeks after the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
In a seminal statement outlining the administration’s policy toward Iran, former national security advisor Gen. Michael Flynn asserted that President Trump would correct for the Obama administration’s policy of appeasing the mullahs in Tehran.
“The Trump administration will no longer tolerate Iran’s provocations that threaten our interests,” said Flynn. “The days of turning a blind eye to Iran’s hostile and belligerent actions toward the United States and the world community are over.”
White House officials have yet to release a statement on Iran’s recent provocations, however. Trump has promised a hardline approach in response to any foreign enemy that dares to harass U.S. military personnel.
During the presidential campaign, Trump famously mocked former President Obama’s obsequious response to the IRGC’s detainment of 10 U.S. Navy sailors in 2016.