A group of 13 armed speedboats of Iran's Revolutionary Guard made “unsafe and unprofessional” high-speed maneuvers toward US Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday, and a US Coast Guard cutter fired warning shots when two of the Iranian boats came dangerously close, US officials said. It was the second time in two weeks that a US ship opened fire to warn vessels of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, the AP reports. The encounters come as the United States and Iran are in indirect talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the United States left in 2018. Asked whether it appeared the Revolutionary Guard was trying to pick a fight with the US Navy, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby declined to comment on the Iranians’ intentions.
“Sadly, harassment by the IRGC Navy is not a new phenomenon. It is something that all of our commanding officers and the crews of our vessels are trained ... for," Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon. “This activity is the kind of activity that could lead to somebody getting hurt and could lead to a real miscalculation there in the region, and that doesn't serve anybody's interests." On April 26, an American warship fired warning shots when vessels of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard came too close to a patrol in the Persian Gulf. That was the first such shooting in nearly four years. In the latest incident, Kirby said 13 Iranian vessels maneuvered at high speed toward six Navy ships that were escorting the guided missile submarine USS Georgia through the Strait on Monday. The sub was sailing on the surface. “They were acting very aggressively,” Kirby said of the Iranian boats. (More details from the incident here.)