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On Saturday, the American missile tracking vessel USNS Invincible and three accompanying vessels were forced to change course because of the approach of Iranian fast-attack boats.

A U.S. Navy ship and three British Royal Navy ships altered course after an encounter with Iranian boats in the Strait of Hormuz, the BBC reported on Monday.

The official said the IRGCN boats attempted to get between the Royal Navy ships and USNS Invincible, before stopping within 600 yards of the U.S. ship.

The official was not authorized to discuss the incident publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity. In January, a U.S. U.S. Navy officials say that close encounters between American and Iranian assets near the Strait of Hormuz are increasingly common and potentially risky.

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The Pentagon has previously voiced concern over a string of high-profile incidents in waters off Iran, where the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) frequently conducts risky manoeuvres around U.S. vessels, including some where the Americans have had to fire warning shots. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps could not immediately be reached for a comment.

The incident comes amid increased tensions between the United States and Iran over re-imposed United States sanctions on Iran and comments by President Trump that he is considering cancelling the Iranian nuclear deal. The gulf separates Oman from southeastern Iran.

The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow waterway connecting the Persian Gulf to the Indian Sea through which a fifth of the world's oil supply passes.

The apparent "harassment" of the USS Invincible on two occasions, came amid Iranian state media reports that Tehran had tested its newly acquired S-300 missile air defence system that is created to intercept incoming missiles, The Washington Post reported.


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