Iran disputes US allegations about encounter at sea

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) " Iran says a vessel from a joint U.S. and British naval fleet approached Revolutionary Guard boats in the Strait of Hormuz in an "unprofessional" manner aimed at escalating tensions in the region.

Revolutionary Guard Cpt. Mahdi Hashemi disputed allegations made earlier this week by a U.S. Navy official, who said a U.S. ship was forced to change course over the weekend to avoid Iranian fast boats, which came within about 600 yards (meters) of the vessel.

Hashemi was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency on Wednesday as saying the other side was "lying" about the incident.

The U.S. has repeatedly accused Iranian forces of aggressive and unprofessional conduct in the Strait of Hormuz, a bottleneck through which 30 percent of the world's sea-borne oil is transported.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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