Vultures Row: Iran (sort of) Threatens US Navy Ships

Iran (sort of) Threatens US Navy Ships

Iranian Speedboats Make Attack Runs

Iran sent 5 go fast boats at a Tyco, a Perry and a Burk. While the Navy didn't open fire, the CO's prudently called GQ and were ready to take all necessary actions to protect their commands and the interests of freedom of navigation. The Us Navy Ships involved are USS PORT ROYAL (CG-73), the last of the Tyco cruisers, USS HOPPER (DDG-70) and USS INGRAHAM (FFG-61), also the last of its class.

The speedboats were on an intercept course and a radio call was received that stated that the American ships were about to explode. It is not clear if this was an attempt to provoke the United States, an exercise for a future attack or an attack that was called off, it is clear that it is being treated as serious by the Bush Administration.


During a news conference yesterday, President Bush said; "It is a dangerous situation, they should not have done it, pure and simple. ... I don't know what their thinking was, but I'm telling you what my thinking was. I think it was a provocative act."

Tensions which are already strained over the nuclear arms issue are being pushed even further fueling speculation that this incident may have been designed for the USN to open fire to create a diplomatic incident.

The Pentagon release a four minute twenty second video of the encounter. The viedo shows the speed boats running close to the ships then turning away, then crossing close astern. Iran's state TV has quoted an official in the Revolutionary Guards as saying "the footage released by the US Navy was compiled using file pictures and the audio has been fabricated". Senior Revolutionary Guards commander Ali Reza Tangsiri said Iran had the right to ask any ships to identify themselves upon entering or leaving the Persian Gulf, downplaying the confrontation.

Could this provocation be an attempt by Ahmadinejad to create tension to bolster his support at home?

Recent reports out of Iran suggest a rift is emerging between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, suggesting that the president no longer enjoys the ayatollah's full backing. The US commanders reacted with courage and intelligence in not engaging the targets too soon. Having their crews at battle stations, tracking the targets and ready to eliminate them was the correct course. As bad as this incident is, it could have been worse had Iran claimed the US fired on poor boaters out for a pleasant afternoon joy ride in international waters next to armed warships. One thing is clear, the USN will act to protect its self no matter the reasons.


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