Two patrol boats operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shadowed the San Diego-based USS Essex in the Persian Gulf on Friday.
The Iranian maneuvers came as Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, was on the giant amphibious assault ship that carries helicopters, tiltrotors and new Marine F-35B stealth fighters.
Votel was accompanied by a reporter from the The Washington Post, which first reported the incident.
The Iranian boats trailed the Essex, but according to U.S. officials their behavior was not threatening.
“Iran is always a concern, and so we will be vigilant as we always are, not just here in the maritime environment but really across the theater,” Votel told the Post. “Because we have to be.”
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