U.S. Navy patrol ship dodges Iranian fast attack craft in Persian Gulf 

A U.S. Navy coastal patrol ship changed course after a fast attack craft from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps came within 100 yards (91 meters) of it in the central Gulf on Sunday, two U.S. Defense Department officials said on Tuesday.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Iranian vessel sailed directly in front of the USS Firebolt, forcing the 174-foot (53-meter) U.S. ship to change course.

The interaction was “unsafe and unprofessional due to lack of communications and the close-range harassing maneuvering,” one of the officials said, adding that uncovered and manned weapons were seen on the Iranian vessel.

The U.S. ship tried to communicate with the Iranian ship by radio three times but received no response.

In late August, a U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots toward an Iranian fast-attack craft that approached two U.S. ships.

Years of mutual animosity eased when Washington lifted sanctions on Tehran in January after a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions but serious differences still remain over Iran’s ballistic missile program, and over conflicts in Syria and Iraq. 

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