Washington Slams Iran Over Ship Threat

Tehran calls incident 'ordinary' after vessels 'harass' US Navy ships
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2008 10:54 AM CST
This image provided by the US Navy shows Sea Knight helicopter nearing the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge after returning from a relief mission Saturday Dec. 1, 2007. (AP Photo/US Navy - Robert...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Washington is firing diplomatic volleys at Tehran today after five Iranian ships "harassed" three US Navy ships in international waters yesterday, CNN reports. "Such actions are dangerous and could have quickly escalated into something much worse," the Pentagon press secretary said. "We see it as further evidence that Iran is unpredictable and remains a threat." Tehran shrugged off the encounter as "ordinary."

Iran's ships came threateningly close to the US ships in the Strait of Hormuz and broadcast the message, "I am coming at you. You will explode in a couple of minutes." The Navy ships were about to fire when the Iranian vessels turned away, say US officials. One of the Iranian ships had also been dropping white boxes into the water in front of a US vessel, but the contents of the boxes were unknown.