Warning follows a threat by Trump who recently told the Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass US vessels.
In an alert that appeared aimed squarely at Iran, the United States Navy issued a warning on Tuesday to mariners in the Gulf to stay 100 meters (109 yards) away from US warships or risk being “interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures”.
The notice to mariners, which was first reported by Reuters News Agency, follows US President Donald Trump’s threat last month to fire on any Iranian ships that harass Navy vessels.
“Armed vessels approaching within 100 meters of a US naval vessel may be interpreted as a threat,” according to the text of the notice.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the new notice to mariners was not a change in the US military’s rules of engagement.