The US and Iran went head to head in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday.
The Pentagon claims an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps patrol boat came within 200 yards of a US vessel and when “it failed to leave the area after the Navy had fired flares and had a radio conversation with the Iranian crew, the US officials said, the USS Squall fired three warning shots. Following standard maritime procedures, the Navy fired the three shots into the water to ensure the Iranians understood they needed to leave the immediate area,” reports CNN.
USNI News, a US Naval Institute website, posted a video of a related incident near the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz.
“The Nitze and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) assessed the interaction as unsafe and unprofessional due to the Iranian vessels not abiding by international law and maritime standards including the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) maritime ‘Rules of the Road’,” a defense official told USNI News.
“The Iranian high rate of closure on a Unites (sic) States ship operating in accordance with international law while transiting in international waters along with the disregard of multiple warning attempts created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation including additional defensive measures by Nitze.”
The Iranians claim the US had entered its territorial waters.
The Tasnim news agency quoted Gen. Hosein Dehghan as saying that “if any foreign vessel enters our waters, we warn them, and if it’s an invasion, we confront.”
Late last year the Revolutionary Guard fired warning shots near the Harry S. Truman carrier strike group from about 1,000 meters away.
In January, two US riverine command boats were intercepted by Revolutionary Guards after they entered Iranian territorial waters near Iran’s Farsi Island. The US said the boats had “strayed” into Iranian waters during a transit from Kuwait to the home port for Task Force 56 under the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. The US crews were arrested and taken to Iran. The Iranians said “the American ships were ‘snooping’ around in Iranian waters,” according to report filed by RT on January 12.
The US initially said the boats had experienced mechanical problems but this story subsequently changed.
Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept reported:
What we know for certain is that the storyline of “mechanical failure” and “poor U.S. boat in distress” that was originally propagated — on which [Eli Lake of Bloomberg News] exclusively relied to blame the Iranians — was complete fiction. At least according to the government’s latest version, the boats were working just fine. But, as always, the bulk of the U.S. media narrative was built around totally unverified, self-serving claims from the U.S. government, which, yet again, turned out to be completely false.”
Considering the about-face in January and countless other instances of lies perpetuated by the United States, how can we be sure this latest incident is not an additional dose of propaganda falling on the heels of the lie that Obama paid “ransom” to Iran for the release of prisoners, a “ransom” that was in fact money the US stole from the Iranians under the false pretext that country is building a nuclear weapon?