Iran releases footage of US carrier chased by Iranian speedboats in Hormuz Strait in March (VIDEO)
Iranian TV aired footage showing a March encounter when the USS Theodore Roosevelt was shadowed by a pack of fast attack craft apparently manned by the Islamic Republic’s elite Revolutionary Guards.
The camera, said to be installed on a nearby Iranian vessel, captures the USS Roosevelt, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, as well as her escort ship traversing waters of the Straits of Hormuz. Multiple Revolutionary Guard speedboats are seen closing in on the US carrier while an American helicopter is seen cruising over the area.
Some activity may be spotted on Roosevelt’s upper deck, with another helicopter preparing to take off. The video was part of an Iranian documentary on the encounter that took place on March 21 in Persian Gulf waters.
The 100,000-ton USS Roosevelt has been deployed to the Gulf since last year. Aside from a 5,000-strong crew, she usually carries up to 130 aircraft, including F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters, EA-18G Growler electronic warfare jets as well as E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning planes.
Mid-sea encounters between US and Iranian ships are not uncommon. The latest encounter took place in August last year, when an Iranian drone shadowed the USS Nimitz carrier overnight and came close enough to capture F-18 fighter jets on the flight deck. US Navy claimed the drone operator did not respond to repeated radio calls and represented a danger for the sailors.
Later in the month, the same type of drone came within 200 feet (62 meters) of a F/A-18E Super Hornet while it was on the final approach to the Nimitz, forcing the pilot to change course. Unnamed Pentagon officials accused Iran of acting in an “unsafe and unprofessional” manner.
Of the incidents at sea, the heaviest one involved Iranian forces capturing and holding ten US sailors who strayed into the Islamic Republic's territorial waters. The sailors were manning two US boats armed with machine guns and were detained after one of the vessels suffered a mechanical failure.
At the time, Tehran demanded a formal apology from US Secretary of State for the breach of Iranian sovereignty and urged US Navy to stay away from Iran’s maritime borders. Iran also consistently accused US sailors of carrying out provocative movements close to its waters.
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