DUBAI, April 20 (Reuters) – Iran‘s navy forced a U.S. submarine to surface as it entered the Persian Gulf, Iranian navy commander Shahram Irani told state television on Thursday, in the latest report of an apparent confrontation between Iranian and U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf.
“The U.S. submarine was approaching while submerged, but the Iranian submarine Fateh detected it and carried out… manoeuvres to force it to surface as it went through the Strait (of Hormuz). It had also entered into our territorial waters but … it corrected its course after being warned,” Irani said.
“This submarine was doing its best, using all its capacities, to pass in total silence and without being detected,” Irani said. “We will certainly reflect to international bodies the fact that it had violated our border.”
The U.S. Navy said earlier this month the nuclear-powered, guided-missile submarine Florida was operating in the Middle East in support of its Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain.
There was no immediate comment from the U.S. military to Irani’s remarks. Reuters sent a message seeking comment from the Fifth Fleet.
Iranian and U.S. forces have had a number of confrontations in the past. In early April, the Iranian navy said it identified and warned off a U.S. reconnaissance plane outside the mouth of the Persian Gulf. In 2019, Iran shot down a U.S. drone which it said was flying over southern Iran.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom. Editing by Mark Potter and Peter Graff)