The waters surrounding Iran remain tense after a speedboat belonging to Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tried to terrorize the U.S. Navy ship USS Sirocco in the Persian Gulf in an incident that U.S. officials described as “unsafe and unprofessional.”

In a video of the incident released by the U.S., the Iranian speedboat is seen approaching the American ship “head-on at a dangerously high speed” coming merely 50 yards (46 meters) from the American naval vessel before changing course. 

American sailors sounded the ship’s horn as a warning signal.

The incident on Monday took place in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world’s oil imports passes through. Two other Iranian ships were reportedly also involved in the tense encounter with the U.S. naval ship. 

“The full interaction among all vessels lasted one hour and ended when the IRGCN craft departed the area,” read a statement from the U.S. Navy. 

The U.S. Navy blasted the Iranians for violating international safety maritime standards. 

“U.S. Navy ships continued their transit without further incident. The IRGCN’s actions did not meet international standards of professional or safe maritime behavior, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collision.”

The Iranian regime has so far not responded to the U.S. Navy’s documentation of the incident. The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet is located in Bahrain – a tiny pro-Western Arab Gulf state located close to Iran. The IRGC naval forces have a history of trying to intimidate U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf. In a similar incident in March, fast boats belonging to Iran came dangerously close to a few U.S. Navy ships that were in the process of exiting the Strait of Hormuz. 

The provocative Iranian naval incident adds to already high tensions between Iran and the U.S. as the protracted nuclear negotiations have stalled with no breakthrough in sight. 

On Monday, the Iranian regime blamed the U.S. During a televised news conference, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh claimed that Tehran was prepared to reach a “good deal” with the global powers. 

“Even today, we are ready to return to Vienna to reach a good deal if Washington fulfills its commitments,” Khatibzadeh said. 

Under former U.S. President Barack Obama, several world powers and Iran signed a controversial nuclear agreement in 2015 officially designed to prevent the Iranian regime from developing nuclear weapons capabilities. However, critics argue that the agreement rewarded Iranian state terrorism and virtually paved the path toward Iranian nuclear capability.

In 2018, former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear agreement with Iran and instead imposed tough sanctions on Iran.

By contrast, President Joe Biden is trying to reach a new nuclear agreement with Iran. This spring it seemed that a nuclear agreement was within reach and Washington even indicated that it would remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its international terrorist list. 

In late May, however, Biden changed his mind and decided to keep the IRGC on the U.S list of international terrorist-sponsoring organizations. 

At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett applauded this move. 

“I welcome the decision by the U.S. administration to keep Iran’s IRGC on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list — which is where it belongs,” said Bennett. 

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