Continuing a pattern of provocative actions, Iran this weekend test-fired a pair of ballistic missiles and sent fast-attack vessels close to a U.S. Navy ship in the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. officials confirmed to Fox News.
The apparent harassment of the USS Invincible on two occasions, on Thursday and Saturday, came amid Iranian state media reports that Iran had tested its newly acquired S-300 missile air defense system that is created to intercept incoming missiles.
A U.S. Navy official told CBS News the Mahan was transiting the Strait of Hormuz - through which almost a third of all oil traded by sea passes - when the Iranian boats sped toward it and failed to halt despite U.S. cautionary moves.
Such clashes between USA and Iranian ships have occurred several times a year in the Gulf.
That test led to sanctions from the United States and a strongly-worded warning from President Donald Trump.
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An Iranian Navy commander called USA actions in the Persian Gulf "unprofessional", adding that there could be "irreversible consequences". Efforts to contact the Iranian vessel by radio were unsuccessful, the official said.
The Invincible, a tracking ship, is fitted with considerable radar equipment and other scientific instruments.
British and US warships patrol the regional waters, and three ships from the Royal British Navy were reportedly accompanying the Invincible.
The incident occurred Saturday, just two days after an Iranian frigate, sailing on a parallel course, came within 150 yards of the Invincible in the Gulf of Oman. Iran released them after establishing that they had done so by mistake.