US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has described the actions of Iranian vessels which confronted the US Navy as provocative and dangerous.
Iran played down the event, calling it an “ordinary occurrence”, but Ms Rice told the BBC there was “nothing normal” about the incident.
The US says five Iranian speedboats challenged three US ships in the Strait of Hormuz, threatening to blow them up.
It says the Iranians withdrew as the US ships prepared to open fire.
In a piece titled “The reality of the recent confrontation (?) of the Iranian boats with Americans vessels” (Question mark used by the source), the state-controlled website Tabnak seems to claim that the speedboats which apparently threatened to explode American warships were in fact American, or at least definitely not Iranian. The piece reads [Persian],
Tabnak reporter from Bandar Abbas [the harbor city close to the location of the incident] revealed the real event which happened on the Strait of Hormoz.
Reportedly, Iran has established a control post on the Strait of Hormoz in order to control the passage of ships through the strait and ask them about their destination and activities through wireless.
On the day of the incident, while American ships were passing, as they regularly do, the center contacted them for information. At the time, five boats were present close to the ships. Interestingly, after a 24-hour delay, Pentagon announces that the ships have been contacted by the boats and that the message has contained a threat in English. More interestingly, on the footage, the section where it is said “you’ll explode after an amount of time”, the actual mentioned amount is unintelligible. Most definitely, the ship would have not been able to recognize whether the message had come from the boats or from the post on the harbor.