In late April, three Iranian fast inshore attack craft provoked warning shots when they came close to two United States vessels in global waters in the northern part of the Gulf, it said.
Iran's Republican Guards said Tuesday they warned United States vessels after Washington said warning shots were fired near Iranian attack boats, the latest confrontation between the rivals in the Gulf.
A US Coast Guard cutter has fired warning shots after a group of 13 armed speedboats from Iran's Revolutionary Guard made "unsafe and unprofessional" high-speed manoeuvres toward Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz yesterday.
In late April three Iranian fast inshore attack craft provoked warning shots when they came within 68 yards of two US vessels in global waters in the northern part of the Gulf, according to the US Navy.
"This is the kind of activity that could lead to somebody getting hurt and could lead to a real miscalculation there in the region, and that doesn't serve anybody's interests".
It fired another volley when the Iranian boats got within 150 yards.
An Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) fast in-shore attack craft (FIAC), a type of speedboat armed with machine guns, speeds near U.S. naval vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz, Monday, May 10, 2021. After coming into close contact with Iranian vessels at an "unnecessarily close range", USA forces fired multiple warning shots at three vessels of the IRGCN.
U.S. Coast Guard ships have operated in the Persian Gulf since 2003 and fall under the control of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command's Task Force 55.
The episode follows a string of recent incidents between Iranian boats and USA warships. "After the second round of warning shots, the 13 fast attack craft from the IRGCN [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy] broke contact", Kirby said during a briefing.
Kirby said it was "not insignificant" that the tense exchange happened in the busy strait that connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.
"When you're in the strait, you there are certain limits to your ability to maneuver", he said.
"It is a choke point in the region".
Once a regular occurrence, Iran's harassment of American Navy ships in the Persian Gulf had ceased over the past year until an April 2 incident involving Iranian boats that swarmed two U.S. Coast Guard cutters. That was the first such shooting in almost four years.
Though Monday's incident did not breach that boundary, Kirby said Navy commanders "have the means at their disposal to defend their ships and their crews".