US and UK Navy ships chase Iranian boats from ‘harassing’ merchant vessel in Strait of Hormuz

US and UK warships have come to the aid of a merchant vessel sailing through the vital Strait of Hormuz after it was ‘harassed’ by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the US Navy said on Monday .

The announcement came after three Iranian “fast attack” vessels armed with troops approached the merchant vessel on Sunday afternoon.

US Navy guided missile destroyer USS McFaul and UK Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster responded to the scene with HMS Lancaster also deploying a helicopter.

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“The situation calmed down about an hour later when the merchant vessel confirmed that the fast attack craft had departed the scene,” the Navy said. “The merchant vessel continued through the Strait of Hormuz without further incident.”

The Strait of Hormuz, located in the Persian Gulf, is a major international trade route and sees 20% of all the world’s oil supplies pass through – a fact that Iran has sought to take advantage of in recent years as relations with the United States have deteriorated.

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The US Navy has not confirmed what type of merchant vessel was harassed in the weekend incident, although the Associated Press found when analyzing MarineTraffic.com that a bulk carrier dubbed “Venture” changed hands. heading erratically as it crossed the strait at the time. of the encounter.

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Its location also matched information obtained through UK maritime trade operations.

The ship was sailing under the flags of the Marshal Islands and its owner Trust Bulkers of Athens, Greece, did not comment on the weekend’s events.

Content on board the ship also remains unclear.

Revolutionary Guards Rear Admiral Abbas Gholamshahi told the official IRNA news agency that his guards responded after receiving a distress call from the merchant vessel.

I believe the US Navy said the distress call was made after Iranian boats armed with troops were seen approaching the merchant vessel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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