While the US State Department demands an explanation, Iran's Foreign Ministry calls the incident 'normal.'
The incident, which ended after the Iranian boats turned away with no shots fired, occurred as President Bush prepared to visit the Middle East for talks this week. It considerably raises tensions between Iran and the United States.
The US Navy routinely encounters Iranian boats in the region, but the actions of the Iranian Navy on Sunday are "more serious than we've seen," said Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, commander of the US Fifth Fleet.
"These are unnecessarily provocative [actions] in international waters," Admiral Cosgriff told reporters by videoconference from his headquarters in Bahrain.
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