The top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East is criticizing Iran for what he calls provocative and unsafe maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.

Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday that recent episodes involving Iranian naval patrol boats speeding toward U.S. Navy ships were unprofessional. He said they raised the risk of miscalculations that could lead to more dangerous results.

He said Iran is the only country in the Middle East that acts in such aggressive ways at sea.