Iran speedboats ‘intercept’ US Navy carrier

The naval division of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Sunday released the footage of a recent encounter between its speedboats and a US helicopter carrier in the Strait of Hormuz.

The footage released during a meeting of IRGC commanders in Tehran showed the Guards monitoring the USS Bataan warship accompanied by choppers amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf.

IRGC Navy commander Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri said choppers took off from the US helicopter carrier, but promptly landed back after IRGC forces issued warnings.

He noted that US forces had entered the Persian Gulf waters first time in about two years.

It comes less than a month after the US government announced the deployment of amphibious warships and a Marine expeditionary group to the Persian Gulf.

The amphibious warship USS Bataan and USS Carter Hall and members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit were sent to the US Central Command on the instructions of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“Through these actions, the United States is demonstrating a commitment to ensuring freedom of navigation and deterring Iranian destabilization activities in the region,” a statement by the US Department of Defense said at the time.

There has been a spate of incidents of tanker seizures in the Persian Gulf waters in recent months by Iranian naval forces.

Iran’s top military commander Abdolrahim Mousavi, in response to the US military deployment, said last month they “reserve the right to make the necessary deterrent arrangements in compliance with the rules and regulations of international law.”

The latest encounter comes exactly a year after the IRGC towed away an unmanned US vessel in the Persian Gulf, saying it was done to “ensure the safety of shipping lanes.”

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