US Navy denies any incident in Persian Gulf as Iran claims its ships ‘chased Americans’ on naval holiday

After Iranian media showed a video of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats marking their holiday by ‘dominating’ American ships in the Persian Gulf, a US Navy spokesman denied any incident had taken place.

A minute-long video of IRGC boats approaching US vessels made the rounds on Thursday. Press TV described it as the Iranians “chasing” Americans in the Persian Gulf.

“Keep chasing them,” says a voice in Farsi, according to an AP translation.

The IRIB news agency spoke of the IRGC’s “naval authority” and “full intercepting power over American and foreign forces” in the Gulf.

IRIB pointed out that Thursday was a holiday for the IRGC’s naval branch, commemorating the October 7, 1987 incident in which an IRGC naval commander known as ‘Martyr Mahdavi’ was killed while fighting the US Navy.  

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The US Navy, meanwhile, denied any incident had taken place. Commander Timothy Hawkins, spokesman for the 5th Fleet that’s based in Bahrain, told reporters he wasn’t aware of any interactions with the Iranians in the past two days.

“There were no unsafe or unprofessional interactions involving US Navy and Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf recently,” Hawkins is quoted as saying by RIA Novosti. Instead, the US Central Command tweeted about the uneventful transit of USS Portland, an amphibious transport dock, through the Strait of Hormuz.

The most recent incident involving IRGC patrol boats and the US Navy was in May, when Iran accused the US Coast Guard ship Maui of engaging in “unprofessional behavior such as flying helicopters, firing flares and aimless and provocative shooting.” 

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