U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs announced Tuesday that three vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) interacted in an “unsafe and unprofessional manner” as U.S. Navy ships transited the Strait of Hormuz on June 20.
Patrol coastal ship USS Sirocco (PC 6) and expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Choctaw County (T-EPF 2) were conducting a routine transit in international waters when three Iranian fast inshore attack craft approached, the U.S. Navy noted. One of the IRGCN vessels approached Sirocco head-on at a “dangerously high” speed and only altered course after the U.S. patrol coastal ship issued audible warning signals to avoid collision, according to the U.S. Navy, which added that the Iranian vessel came within 50 yards of the U.S. Navy ship during the interaction and that Sirocco responded by deploying a warning flare.
“The full interaction among all vessels lasted one hour and ended when the IRGCN craft departed the area. U.S. Navy ships continued their transit without further incident,” the U.S. Navy stated.
“The IRGCN’s actions did not meet international standards of professional or safe maritime behavior, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collision,” the U.S. Navy added.
“U.S. naval forces remain vigilant and will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows while promoting regional maritime security,” the U.S. Navy continued.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Navy revealed that naval forces from the United Arab Emirates and United States had begun a 10-day maritime exercise on June 13 in the Arabian Gulf. The exercise is an annual bilateral training event between U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and forces from the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. Navy outlined, adding that the exercise focuses on maritime security operations, mine countermeasures and harbor defense.
According to an update in April this year by Statista, which describes itself as a leading provider of market and consumer data, around 18 million barrels of oil passed through the Strait of Hormuz every day in 2020.
An article published on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) website in June 2019 labeled the Strait of Hormuz as the world’s most important oil transit chokepoint.
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