According to the Department of Defense, the USS Nitze was surrounded by four Iranian military boats near the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday. As shown in the video below, the Iranians ignored calls by the USS Nitze and acted in an “unprofessional” manner. The Strait of Hormuz is international waters.
The USS Nitze tried to communicate 12 times by radio with the Iranian boats, But there was no response from the Iranians who were traveling at high speeds and taunting the the USS Nitze.
After two of the Iranian boats came uncomfortably close, the US crew used its ship whistle and flares to warn off the aggressors, but the Iranians continued to ignore the warnings. The USS Nitze, which is a guided missile destroyer, changed course to steer clear of the Iranian vessels.
According to reports, the Iranian boats got within 300 yards of the USS Nitze during the encounter.
“These sorts of unsafe and unprofessional actions can lead to escalation and miscalculation, which may necessitate additional defensive measures,” said Commander Bill Urban, public affairs officer for US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT). “Commanding officers have an inherent obligation for self-defense.”
Iranian Defense Minister Hosein Dehghan said the nation’s forces patrol the area to protect its territorial waters.
The Strait of Hormuz is a key maritime route, through which about one-fifth of the world’s oil supply flows.
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