After warnings from the USA ship, including radio calls, Navy officials ordered the firing of flares and blasts from the ship's whistle and warning shots from the Thunderbolt's 50-caliber machine gun, an official said.
"[The] USS Thunderbolt fired warning flares and sounded the internationally recognized danger signal of five short blasts on the ship's whistle, but the Iranian vessel continued inbound", the navy said. In January, a Navy destroyer fired warning shots at several Iranian attack boats that the US military claimed ignored prior warnings in the Strait of Hormuz.
It happened at around 03:00 local time (00:00 GMT), as the Iranian ship began to approach the USS Thunderbolt. The vessel eventually stopped, but stayed in the area for several hours, according to the Defense Department. Last month, an Iranian vessel aimed a laser at a USA helicopter as it traveled with Pentagon warships in worldwide waters in the Strait of Hormuz.
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No warning shots were fired during that encounter, but United States defense officials criticized the use of the Iranian laser.
In January, the USS Mahan destroyer fired three warning shots when Iranian fast-attack vessels approached at high speed in the Strait of Hormuz.
But in a statement issued via the IRGC's news site Sepah, it was the American "battleship" which moved towards one of Iran's patrol boats.
The IRGC called blamed the US for the "provocative and unprofessional" incident in a statement carried by Iranian state owned Press TV. The US Navy recorded 35 instances of what it describes as "unsafe and/or unprofessional" interactions with Iranians forces in 2016, compared to 23 in 2015.