US Navy ship fires warning shot at armed Iranian vessel in Persian Gulf

US Navy ship fires warning shot at armed Iranian vessel in Persian Gulf
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A U.S. Navy ship in the Persian Gulf fired warning shots on Tuesday at an armed Iranian patrol boat, which did not respond to the warnings, U.S. defense officials told CNN.

Officials believed the Iranian vessel to be part of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IIRGC) Navy, which carries out the nation's military operations in the Persian Gulf. 

The Iranian boat, which came within 150 yards of the U.S. ship, did not respond to any warning calls. Officials said the patrol boat failed to respond to signals, including radio signals, flares and five blasts on the ship's whistle, the international naval signal for danger. 

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The U.S. Navy ship fired the warning shots to avoid a collision with the Iranian boat, according to one of the officials. The Iranian boat remained in the area for several hours, but stopped its threatening actions, officials said. 

Several other U.S. ships were in the area, carrying out routine patrols of the international waters. 

This encounter comes after another Iranian vessel pointed a laser at a U.S. helicopter accompanying American ships through the Strait of Hormuz in June. The United States called these actions "unsafe and unprofessional." 

The U.S. military also accused the IIRGC of being "unprofessional but also provocative" in April when an Iranian ship approached the American destroyer USS Mahan on its route through the Persian Gulf.