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U.S. Navy Denies Iran's Claim Says It Warned Off Warship In Gulf Of Oman

Source: RFE/RL

Iran says it has warned off an American warship during the rescue of a boat in the Gulf of Oman, while the U.S. Navy denied any direct contact with Iranian forces. The hard-line Tasnim news agency reported on September 10 that the U.S. vessel turned away after the warning from a rocket-bearing Iranian military ship.

The Iranian vessel then towed the fishing boat, which had sent out a distress signal after taking on water, back to shore, it said.

The agency did not specify when the incident, close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, occurred.

The United States offered a different version of the events, which it said happened on September 6.

The U.S. Navy said the coastal patrol ship USS Tempest heard the distress call of an unidentified small boat about 75 nautical miles, or 140 kilometers, from the Tempest's position.

It said another ship much closer to the boat in distress offered assistance, with that vessel communicating with Iranian naval forces.

"At no time was there any direct contact between the U.S. and Iranian maritime forces," U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) said.

The Iranian and U.S. navies routinely have tense encounters in the Persian Gulf and its environs.

In August, an unarmed Iranian drone came close to a U.S. Navy warplane as it prepared to land on an aircraft carrier in the Gulf, U.S. officials said at the time.

And in July, the U.S. Navy said that one of its helicopters fired warning flares at Iranian vessels approaching American ships in the Gulf.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2017 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

... Payvand News - 09/10/17 ... --

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