So much for Obama’s initiative with Iran. All it’s done is provided Iran with cover for its nuclear weapons program. And that just brings the confrontation closer.
Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the US Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said personnel on a small boat dispatched from the US Coast Guard patrol boat Monomoy fired a single shot when it saw crew on a nearby Iranian dhow training one of its two .50-caliber machine guns on them and preparing to fire.
“This action by the dhow’s crew demonstrated hostile intent which resulted in the defensive fire by the Coast Guardsmen,” he said.
The Monomoy was operating on “a routine maritime security operation” when it contacted the dhow’s bridge. After initial contact, the Iranian vessel stopped communicating and the Coast Guard ship deployed small boat to investigate, Stephens said.
Back during the Iraq War, an Iranian dhow had been used in a setup to capture British sailors. And the Hopper incident in ’08 moved things pretty close to the edge.
U.S. military officials said the incident occurred early Sunday morning in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow shipping channel leading in and out of the Persian Gulf.
They said that as the guided missile destroyer USS Hopper, the guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal and the guided-missile frigate USS Ingraham were entering the Persian Gulf, five Iranian boats approached them at high speed and swarmed them.
The Iranian boats made “threatening” moves toward the U.S. ships and in one case came within 200 yards of one of them, the U.S. officials said. Video Watch what U.S. officials are saying about the incident »
The U.S. Navy also received a radio transmission that officials believe came from the Iranian boats. The transmission said, “I am coming at you. You will explode in a couple of minutes,” the U.S. military officials told CNN.
When the U.S. ships heard that radio transmission, they took up their gun positions and officers were “in the process” of giving the order to fire when the Iranians abruptly turned away, the U.S. officials said.
These are obvious provocations and tests.