U.S. Navy fires warning shots at Iranian boats

The U.S.S. Firebolt fired warning shots at boats from Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard when they came to close during maneuvers in the Persian Gulf (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/u-s-navy-ship-fires-warning-shots-after-iranian-boats-n1265544). This marks the second interaction between U.S. and Iranian ships this month. Revolutionary Guard boats also harassed two U.S. Coast Guard ships earlier this month, however now warning shots were fired. The last time American ships needed to warn Iranian ships was four years ago.

A statement released by the U.S. Navy said, “The U.S. crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and loud-hailer devices, but the (Guard) vessels continued their close range maneuvers. The crew of Firebolt then fired warning shots, and the (Guard) vessels moved away to a safe distance from the U.S. vessels. U.S. naval forces continue to remain vigilant and are trained to act in a professional manner, while our commanding officers retain the inherent right to act in self-defense.”

While there haven’t been as many interactions between U.S. and Iranian forces recently, tensions have still been high between the two nations for some time. During his term, President Trump pushed back against Iran, withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2018 and calling for the strike that killed Major General Qasem Soleimani in 2020. With a new administration in place, talks may resume between the two nations, but incidents like these don’t provide much optimism.

Will the U.S. and Iran be able to come to a new agreement? Will acts of aggression like this escalate into actual combat or will the power of the U.S. military be enough of a deterrent?

Image Credit: Spc. Cody Rich/U.S. Army via AP

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