The Navy says three IRGC fast-attack boats, with armed men, were part of threat on the commercial vessel

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) “harassed” a merchant ship in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday. The U.S. Navy and the UK Royal Navy said on Monday that its ships were able to scare off the Iranians.

“The situation deescalated approximately an hour later when the merchant vessel confirmed the fast-attack craft departed the scene,” the Navy said. “The merchant ship continued transiting the Strait of Hormuz without further incident.”

The Navy released a still image, showing three IRGC fast-attack boats, and said armed men were onboard, who then threatened the commercial vessel with a close approach. The USS McFaul destroyer and the Royal Navy’s HMS Lancaster frigate were able to respond quickly to the incident, and stop any further escalation.

The Navy did not identify the involved merchant ship by name, however the Associated Press analyzed ship-tracking data from and found a possible match. The Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Venture was the likely vessel, due to its behavior and location.

The AP said the location matched information given by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, and stated the vessel resembled images released by the U.S. Navy. This is the latest of confrontations in the Strait carried out by Iran against commercial vessels, putting pressure on the Americans to increase security in the region.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) “withdrew its participation” from a joint naval command last week, the AP reported that the US Navy said it was still in the group, and that a senior military official met with Emirati leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in which they “discussed shared regional security concerns as well as US and UAE security partnerships.”

Meanwhile, the commander of Iran announced on Saturday that Tehran plans to form a naval alliance with the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Pakistan, and India. According to Iranian media, the aim of the coalition is “to bring security” to the region.

Source » i24news