> Tensions running high between the United States and Iran Monday, a day after officials say a US Navy destroyer fired three warning shots at four Iranian ships, then raced toward it at high speeds near the Strait of Hormuz. The live fire encounter unfolded Sunday as the USS Mahan asked the Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels to slow down but got no response.
Reuter's Pentagon reporter Idrees Ali.>> One of the things that made this incident more concerning for US authorities was the fact that the Iranian vessels had their guns manned and they were visible to the US crew. They basically tried to communicate with them over radio, they fired flares, a US Navy helicopter even dropped a smoke grenade to try to warn them off, but they continued to close in.
They got within 900 yards at which point the destroyer fired three warning shots towards the IRGC vessels. They then stopped and then went away as soon as the shots were fired.>> It's the latest in a string of escalating naval confrontations as Iran challenges the American presence in the region.
And it comes as Donald Trump is set to take the Oval Office after promising in the campaign that Iranian vessels engaging in such acts would be quote, shot out of the water.>> In January, we had ten US Navy sailors that were briefly detained. And then in August, we had a very similar incident to the one today where three warning shots were fired.
Even though these are international waters, the Iranians say that they're very close to their shores and they have a right to patrol them. On Monday, Iranian law makers approve plans to ramp up military spending including the build up of a long range missile system that Trump has pledged to halt.
Putting the countries on a potential collision course only a year after the signing of a landmark nuclear deal, which Trump has blasted as bad for the US.>> Thank you very much, happy new year.