Things are becoming tense in the Persian Gulf. A recent altercation between the U.S. Navy and an Iranian ship is a clear sign of things to come.
This week, a “fast attack craft” from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard approached a U.S. guided-missile destroyer. Things went badly for the Iranians.
The Iranians came within 1,000 yards of the American vessel, and American troops responded by firing flares. This information wasn’t released at the time:
The officials said the Mahan altered course to avoid the Iranian warship, sounded the danger signal, fired flares and manned its own weapons.
The Iranian ship did not come closer than 1,000 yards and no warning shots were fired.
“Coming inbound at a high rate of speed like that and manning weapons, despite clear warnings from the ship, is obviously provocative behavior,” said one American official in describing the Iranian actions.
Thankfully, the flares scared the Iranians away, and the message was clear: America has a new President who will not tolerate provocative behavior from hostile regimes.
This isn’t the first time that America has had close calls with Iranian ships. “In January, USS Mahan fired warning shots at four Iranian vessels near the Strait of Hormuz. In that incident, the Mahan tried to order the boats to stop via bridge-to-bridge radio communication, but the vessels didn’t respond, prompting the destroyer to fire three warning shots with a .50 caliber machine gun. At the time, Iranians ignored the warnings.”
The U.S. Navy has shown great restraint, but they have made it clear that action will be taken if necessary. Next time, it may not be a warning flare.