Five armed Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats failed in an attempt to capture a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday (10), according to CNN.
According to CNN report, the tanker was crossing into the Strait of Hormuz when the Iranian boats approached. The British Heritage tanker was told that its course should be changed and stopped in Iranian territorial waters.
The incident was overheard and recorded by a US aircraft, CNN reported.
The British Royal Navy frigate HMS Montros escorted the tanker. Following a dramatic course of events, the Navy frigate pointed its guns on the Iranians, when the order was made by the Iranian ships, warning them to back off.
The Iranian ships sailed off in response to the verbal warning.
Last week, Britian seized a Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar over accusations it was at breach of sanctions by transporting oil to Syria. Major General Mohammad Bagheri, Iran's armed forces chief of staff, said the capture of the oil tanker based on fabricated excuses would not go unanswered, and that when it is necessary, Tehran will answer appropriately.
Tensions between Iran and the US and its allies have risen sharply since Washington stepped up economic sanctions against Iran and moved to bring the country's oil exports to zero as part of a "maximum pressure" policy to make Iran halt actions that it said undermined regional security.
The US officials responded to the Wednesday's incident, saying that it happened as British Heritage was at the northern entrance of Strait of Hormuz.
"The Royal Navy HMS Montrose, which was also there, pointed it guns at the boats and warned them over radio, at which point they dispersed," a US official said.
"It was harassment and an attempt to interfere with the passage," another pointed out.
Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joseph Dunford on Tuesday (09) said that the US hopes to enlist allies over the next two weeks or so in a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen.
However, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards rejected the claim that they tried to stop the British tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday.