WASHINGTON (AP) — Iranian boats harassed and provoked three American Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, threatening to explode the vessels, U.S. officials said Monday.
In the most serious such incident in years, U.S. forces were on the verge of firing on the Iranian boats during the incident early Sunday, when the boats — believed to be from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy — turned and moved away, a Pentagon official said.
Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman called it a "serious incident." Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, called it "the most serious provocation of this sort that we've seen yet."
Iran's Foreign Ministry said Monday the confrontation was "something normal" and was resolved, suggesting the Iranian boats had not recognized the U.S. vessels. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the Bush administration urges Iranians "to refrain from such provocative actions that could lead to a dangerous incident in the future."
Pentagon: U.S. Navy ships harassed by Iran