Military boats from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps came dangerously close to a U.S. military vessel in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday, according to reports.
Gen. Joseph Votel was on board the USS New Orleans in the Gulf when four Iranian ships came within about 500 yards of the U.S. ship. There were reports of a fifth Iranian ship but those could not be confirmed.
“What concerns me is our people don’t always have a lot of time to deal with those interactions,” Votel said. “It’s measured in minutes to really have the opportunity to make the right decision.”
The five Iranian boats included four small patrol craft and a larger boat called a Houdong fast-attack craft. At least one of the patrol boats was equipped with a .50 caliber machine gun and a multiple rail rocket launcher. They came within several hundred yards of the U.S. ship.
A few weeks ago, a Russian ship came within 150 yards of a U.S. Navy vessel. And in April, the U.S. Navy seized an enormous shipment of arms, including machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, headed from Iran to Houthi rebels in Yemen.