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Thursday, March 23, 2017

U.S. Navy commanders on Wednesday accused Iran of jeopardizing international navigation by "harassing" warships passing through the Strait of Hormuz, warning future incidents could result in miscalculation and lead to an armed clash, Reuters reported.

The commanders spoke after the U.S. aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush confronted what one of the officers described as two sets of Iranian Navy fast-attack boats that had approached a U.S.-led, five-vessel flotilla as it entered the Strait on Tuesday.

It was the first time a U.S. carrier entered the narrow waterway, where up to 30 percent of global oil exports pass annually, since President Donald Trump took office in January.

Tuesday's incident, in which the George H.W. Bush sent helicopter gunships to hover over the Iranian speedboats, ended without a shot being fired, the officials told Reuters.

The incident follows recent tensions in the Gulf between the United States and Iran.

In January, a U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots at Iranian boats near the Strait of Hormuz, after five Iranian vessels approached the USS Mahan and two other American ships that were entering the strait.

In September, the Navy said that Iran had threatened two American maritime patrol aircraft flying over the Strait of Hormuz.

A week prior to that incident, a U.S. Navy patrol ship was forced to change course after a fast attack craft from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps came within 91 meters of it in the central Persian Gulf. READ MORE