US government officials as saying that Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats approached and tried unsuccessfully to seize a British oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday.
A British Royal Navy frigate that was escorting the tanker reportedly drove the boats away.
Last month, two tankers were attacked in waters around the Strait of Hormuz. The US has blamed Iran, but Iran has strongly denied involvement.
A senior US general has unveiled a plan to have US allies escort commercial vessels with their nations’ flags to secure safety of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz.
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, on Tuesday disclosed the US hopes to enlist allies in a military coalition to ensure the safety of shipping lanes.
Dunford said the US is engaging with a number of countries to see if it can put together a coalition that would ensure freedom of navigation in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz and neighboring areas.
He said the US military’s main role would be to provide surveillance information to the vessels of coalition partners that would be participating in the scheme.
Dunford says the US plans to identify over the next two weeks which nations will support the initiative.
His remarks are taken to mean the US expects its allies, including Japan, to be part of the coalition as they are expected to escort commercial vessels owned by companies of their countries.
Concerns over safety in and around the Strait of Hormuz have been mounting since two commercial tankers, including one operated by a Japanese firm, were attacked near the waterway last month.