Iranian ships taunted 2 U.S. Navy vessels as part of escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz -
Iranian ships recently taunted two U.S. Navy vessels as part of escalating tensions in and around the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz.
The incidents in the strait, one of the world's most important oil routes, occurred last week and involved the USS New Orleans, an amphibious transport dock, and the Coast Guard Cutter Adak, the military said Friday in releasing videos of the incidents.
Iranian speed boats are seen in one of the videos approaching the USS New Orleans within about 500 yards last Friday.
"The Iranian boats did not respond to whistle signal or voice queries from the New Orleans, disregarding standard maritime protocols," Central Command said in releasing the videos. In the incident involving the Adak, "communications were established with a larger Iranian ship operating in the area and the speed boats ceased their harassment."
One senior defense official told FoxNews.com that the Iranians "intended to be harassing" but it didn't go much beyond that. No shots were fired.
Iran, which recently held war games in the area, has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz if provoked, and it has warned U.S. Navy ships to steer clear.
The rising tensions coincide with increased pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, which the West fears is merely a front for Iran's clandestine work on developing nuclear weapons.