Four Iranian boats “harassed” a US Navy warship near the Persian Gulf, ignoring orders to back off, gCaptain reported yesterday.A defense official said Iranian Revolutionary Guard high-speed vessels swarmed missile destroyer USS Nitze on Wednesday at a high rate of speed—an “unsafe and unprofessional” move with two coming within 300 meters of the US warship.
AP reports that the Nitze fired 10 flares in return and changed course to avoid the vessels.
“The Iranian high rate of closure… created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation, including defensive measures by Nitze,” the official said.
The USS Nitze was named for Paul H. Nitze. During his time as the Navy secretary (1963-1967), he raised the level of attention given to quality of Service issues. Nitze was also one of the chief architects of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union.
The USS Nitze’s capabilities include launching missiles, deploying helicopters, detecting mines, tracking and targeting submarines, and performing anti-air and anti-surface operations. With helicopters aboard, the ship can perform medical evacuations, ship replenishment, communication relay, and other functions.