A new military vessel of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy blocked the path of two American warships as they intended to sail into the Persian Gulf last week, a senior Iranian commander confirmed, according to the IRGC-linked Tasnim News Agency.
In an address to a cultural ceremony in Iran’s northern province of Gilan, IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri said his forces have manufactured a new vessel, named after late IRGC serviceman Habib Rouhi, according to Tasnim News, adding that the missiles of the new naval vessel have a range of 300 kilometers.
“The commander said the new missile-launching vessel prevented two American warships from entering the Persian Gulf and ordered them to identify themselves last Monday, December 5,” Tasnim said.
However, according to a statement issued last week by CENTCOM, the IRGC Navy patrol boat interacted in an unsafe and unprofessional manner as US Navy ships transited the Strait of Hormuz, the evening of Dec. 5.
Expeditionary sea base platform ship USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) and guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) were conducting a routine transit in international waters, when, “the Iranian vessel attempted to blind the bridge by shining a spotlight and crossed within 150 yards of the U.S. ships – dangerously close, particularly at night,” CENTCOM said.
CENCOM said the US ships safely deescalated the situation through the employment of audible warnings and non-lethal lasers. The US Navy ships continued their transit without further incident.
“This dangerous action in international waters is indicative of Iran’s destabilizing activity across the Middle East,” said Col. Joe Buccino, CENTCOM spokesman.