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Iran airs own video of US ship incident

Iran on Thursday aired its own video of an incident in the Strait of Hormuz with US warships, in a bid to counter Pentagon accusations that the Iranians warned they could blow up the American vessels.

world Updated: Jan 10, 2008 18:06 IST

Iran on Thursday aired its own video of an incident in the Strait of Hormuz with US warships, in a bid to counter Pentagon accusations that the Iranians warned they could blow up the American vessels.

The four-minute video broadcast by Iran's English language channel Press-TV showed an Iranian commander in a speedboat contacting an American sailor via radio, asking him to identify the US vessels and state their purpose.

"Coalition warship number 73, this is an Iranian patrol," the Iranian commander is heard to say in English, asking for the vessel to confirm its number.

"This is coalition warship number 73. I am operating in international waters," replied the American voice.

State-run Press-TV said the footage had been released by the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological force involved in the incident.

The Pentagon released a video and audio tape on Tuesday that it said confirmed US charges that Iranian speedboats swarmed around US warships in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday and radioed a threat to blow them up.

The alleged confrontation has further inflamed tensions between Iran and the United States which are locked in a standoff over Tehran's controversial nuclear drive.

The tape showed "warship number 73" -- the USS Port Royal -- looming in the foreground and also showed the two other US vessels in the incident, the USS Hopper and the USS Ingraham.

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