"We can confirm that four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy Fast Inland Attack Craft (FIAC) and one Fast Attack Craft (FAC) approached the USS New Orleans and USS Stout as they transited the Straits of Hormuz," CENTCOM Media Operations Officer Capt. Michelle Rollins told Sputnik in a written statement on Tuesday. "US Naval Forces Central Command deemed the interaction as safe, routine and professional and without incident."
US Navy forces are routinely approached by Iranian maritime forces as they operate in the region, with the majority of all interaction by the Iranians conducted in a safe and professional manner, the statement acknowledged.
CENTCOM head Gen. Joseph Votel was on board the New Orleans at the time, CNN said in an earlier report, noting that the small Iranian craft came within 500 yards of the warship.
The New Orleans is an amphibious transport dock warship that can carry up to 700 Marines. Such vessels are designed to transport troops into a war zone by sea, primarily using landing craft, although invariably they also have the capability to operate transport helicopters.