A Royal Navy frigate has had 85 run-ins with Iran in 27 days, its Commanding Officer has revealed, according to Plymouth Live website.
Cdr William King, captain of Type 23 HMS Montrose, said these “interactions” have included Iran “running boats in at the frigate at speed”.
“The Iranians seem to be keen to test our resolve, test our reactions, most of that time,” said Cdr King.
However, he revealed that these regular interactions have led to “a healthy understanding – should I say a respect” developing between the Royal Navy and their Iranian counterparts.
Speaking live on BBC Radio 4, on day 27 of a 28-day patrol, Cdr King said: “It’s a pretty busy standard morning in the Gulf here – we’re in the Straits of Hormuz.
“I’m looking at whole myriad of different classes of merchant ships, from tankers to bulk carriers, all going about their business – and also smaller ships protecting small oil fields. It’s a busy, congested, maritime space in which Montrose has spent the last 28 days, on patrol.
“I’ve had 85 interactions with Iranian forces over the last 27 days – so that gives you some idea of the intensity.
“It’s professional, it’s cordial, often there is an exchange of warnings over VHF – the Iranians seem to be keen to test our resolve, test our reactions, most of that time.
“We’re on guard. We’re ready to react. Ive got 215 in my team who are highly trained and relishing the professional opportunities of being slightly under threat represents.
“They’ll claim perhaps our presence is illegitimate, even though we’re completely lawfully in international waters
“They’ll may also run boats in at us at speed to test what warning levels we get up to.
“In the naval business, as a tactical level commander, this is what we would expect and is what we have seen before.
“The intensity is perhaps more than we have seen in recent times. Merchant shipping is not used to seeing that – and our presence is key to reassuring them that actually we are able to effectively offset any aggression the Iranians may show.”