Group of Armed Iranian Boats Closes in on American Cutter, Rethinks Poor Decision When US Navy Ship Opens Fire


Three Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy armed speedboats were met with warning shots from a U.S. warship after they came within 68 yards of U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf on Monday, according to a statement from the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. U.S. Navy patrol craft USS Firebolt and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Baranof were “conducting routine maritime security operations in international waters” at approximately 8 p.m. local time when the Iranian boats “rapidly approached … with unknown intent.” This was a clear violation of international maritime law. The crews onboard the U.S. ships “issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and loud-hailer devices,” but they were ignored. The report stated that “Throughout the interaction, U.S. forces proactively communicated with the IRGCN vessels and executed pre-planned responses to reduce the risk of miscalculation, avoid a collision, and to de-escalate the situation.” Finally, Firebolt’s crew fired off several warning shots, at which point the Iranian speedboats rethought the wisdom of harassing the U.S. vessels and moved away.

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