Iran disputes United States allegations about encounter at sea

Iran ships clash with American and British navy vessels

Iranian military vessels had a close encounter with a US surveillance ship on Saturday in what USA officials tell CBS News was both an "unsafe" and "unprofessional" maneuver by the Iranians in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The apparent harassment of the USS Invincible on two occasions, on Thursday and Saturday, came amid Iranian state media reports that Iran had tested its newly acquired S-300 missile air defense system that is created to intercept incoming missiles.

One of Iran's ballistic missile tests were successful, destroying a floating barge approximately 155 miles away, two US officials with knowledge of the launch told Fox News.

Taken as a whole, the incidents form a pattern suggesting Tehran and Washington could be squaring off for a more direct confrontation.

"Such provocations can have irreversible consequences", Admiral Mehdi Hashemi said, dismissing claims by USA officials that it was the IRGC boats that had come within 600 yards of the us warship.

On Thursday an Iranian frigate came within 150 yards of the Invincible, and Saturday a number of smaller Iranian boats approached the ship, closing to within 600 yards, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said.

More cracks emerge in Fillon campaign as French rivals push ahead
In that second round, he is now projected to face Marine Le Pen , the far-right leader with an anti-immigration, anti-EU platform. According to all second-round polls, Macron beats Le Pen by a very safe 60% to 40% while Fillon has a slightly smaller lead.

The USNS Invincible is equipped with powerful radar equipment to track ballistic missile trajectories.

A U.S. official told reporters the Iranian vessel had tried to position itself between them.

Three British Royal Navy vessels, accompanying the American ship at the time, were also forced to move.

But a key Republican called for more than tough words in response to what he described as Iranian provocations.

In May of 2016, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to the United States and its allies if they "threaten" the Islamic Republic. Iran released them after establishing that they had done so by mistake.

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