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Tension Increases Between Iran and US Vessels in Persian Gulf

Iran

Warning shots were fired during an altercation between two U.S. vessels and three Iranian military speed boats in international waters on April 27, 2021. The Navy reports this is the second time Revolutionary Guard harassed American ships in the past 30 days escalating the tensions between the two countries.

In the most recent situation, “three fast inshore craft operated by the Iranian Navy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGCN) came within 68 yards of the USS Firebolt and the US Coast Guard vessel Baranoff” as they were on patrol in the northern Persian Gulf.

The armed IRGCN speed boats sped toward the U.S. naval vessels. Their maneuvers brought them unnecessarily close — with unknown intent.

IranThe U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain reported the Revolutionary Guard boats repeatedly sped toward the American ships. A spokeswoman for the fleet described the episode that occurred earlier this month as “unsafe and unprofessional.”

In response to the close-range maneuvers, the United States’ crew issued several warnings using bridge-to-bridge radio and loudspeakers. The Iranian boats did not cease their aggressive actions. The Revolutionary Guard vessels moved away after the crew of the USS Firebolt fired warning shots.

This event was the first time in four years the U.S. Navy fired on Iranian vessels.

These confrontations occurred two weeks after President Biden’s administration and Iran began discussions to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. After former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018, a sharp escalation of tension was sparked between Washington and Tehran.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

The New York Times: Second Close Call Between Iranian and American Vessels Raises Tensions; by Eric Schmidt
Politico: Second Close Call Between Iranian and American Vessels Raises Tensions; by Lara Seligman
The Times of Israel: Pentagon says US Navy fired warning shots at Iran boats in Gulf

Featured and Top Image by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Herman Courtesy of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces European-Africa/US 6th Fleet’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Israel Defense Forces’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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