The US White House warned on Monday Iran to refrain from taking "provocative actions that could lead to a dangerous incident in the future."
This photo shows the location of the Strait of Hormuz. Five Iranian Revolutionary Guardboats "seriously provoked" three US warships in the Strait of Hormuz over the weekend, the Pentagon said Monday.
"We urge the Iranians to refrain from such provocative actions that could lead to a dangerous incident in the future," US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
Meanwhile, the State Department said the United States "will confront Iranian behavior" after it alleged the Islamic country posed a serious provocation to US navy ships in the Straits of Hormuz.
"The United States will confront Iranian behavior where it seeks to do harm either to us or our friends or allies in the region. There is wide support for that within the region," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
The strong response from the White House and the State Department came after the Pentagon alleged Monday that five Iranian revolutionary guard boats "seriously provoked" three US warships in the Straits of Hormuz over the weekend.
Pentagon officials told reporters the Iranian boats made threatening moves and headed toward the US ships at early Sunday morning local time.
The Iran boats also made threatening radio transmissions, which a US official said included the taunt that "I am coming at you. You will explode in a couple of minutes."
The US warships manned gun positions and were prepared to shoot, but the Iranian boats suddenly turned away, the officials said.
The US ships were in international waters at the time.
The Straits of Hormuz, a narrow passage between Iran and the United Arab Emirates, is a key route for international crude oil shipments.
The USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and the USNS Arctic sailing side-by-side in the Gulf.
(Xinhua News Agency January 8, 2008)