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April 20, 2023 8:15 am

Iran Says Forces US Submarine to Surface in Gulf, US Denies

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avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Iran’s and U.S.’ flags are seen printed on paper in this illustration taken January 27, 2022. Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Iran‘s navy forced a US submarine to surface as it entered the Gulf, Iranian navy commander Shahram Irani told state television on Thursday, but the United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet denied such an incident had taken place.

“The US 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 US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, denied what it called Iranian “disinformation”.

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“A US submarine has not transited the Strait of Hormuz today or recently,” Commander Timothy Hawkins told Reuters.

“The claim represents more Iranian disinformation that does not contribute to regional maritime security and stability.”

The US Navy said earlier this month that the nuclear-powered, guided-missile submarine Florida was operating in the Middle East in support of its Fifth Fleet.

Iranian and US forces have had a number of confrontations in the past. In early April, the Iranian navy said it had identified and warned off a US reconnaissance plane outside the mouth of the Gulf. In 2019, Iran shot down a US drone which it said was flying over southern Iran.

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