US Coast Guard Fires in Self-Defense at Iranian Boat

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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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.

  • Pete

    Bahrain is not Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States could cooperate on Maritime security for their mutual benefit. The have the money and the manpower. So WTF are we going there guarding their shores?

    Saudi Arabia has been clamping down on illegal immigrants due to high Saudi unemployment. So they have the manpower.

    Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on illegal immigrants is a boon for local businesses

    qz.com/97262/saudi-arabias-crackdown-on-illegal-immigrants-is-a-boon-for-local-businesses/

    • William Magoffin

      They have money and manpower but not experience. Many of their officers in major command positions are there because they are related to the king in some way. One of the king’s cousins (or some such) succeeded in wrecking a top of the line French made stealth frigate a few years ago, he ran the ship aground a full speed… for his actions he was promoted. During Desert Storm the Saudi Navy was tasked with helping to sweep mines in the NAG, a task which they performed very poorly compared to the US, UK and NATO forces they operated along side.

      • Pete

        You can be trained to navigate in less than 4 years or less.

        How much the corruption of nepotism causes family and other fellow citizens to put it in neutral and not learn I don’t know, but it does have a pernicious effect.

        They have to get their act together because it is [possible that the Presstitutes could throw the 2016 election to a Democrat as bad as Obama.

        Let’s talk a little media bias here,” he said on the PBS program “Inside Washington” on July 11. “The media, I think, want Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards . . . as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there’s going to be this glow about them that is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.”

        boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/08/24/some_of_kerrys_biggest_fans_are_in_the_press/

        http://www.mrc.org/biasalerts/mag-editor-media-want-kerry-win-cover-sunshine-boys-7122004

        http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1873

        Israel maybe able to save Jordan for a while but Israel cannot save Saudi Arabia. If another Democrat is elected, Saudi Arabia is going to be left on it own with the Gulf State and maybe Chinese or Russians as allies.

        • William Magoffin

          This article is a little old but it covers a lot of the institutional problems with training and operations in Arab armies:

          http://www.meforum.org/441/why-arabs-lose-wars

          It makes for some very interesting reading.

      • Pete

        “The second of the class, Makkah (814), while traveling at almost full speed, … French built, Saudi frigate, HSMS Makkah, ran aground on its maiden voyage

        combatfleetoftheworld.blogspot.com/2011/08/future-of-royal-saudi-navy.html

        maritimejournal.com/news101/tugs,-towing-and-salvage/tsavliris_starts_new_year_at_speed

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Fayette-class_frigate

  • KyraNelson

    I hope Commander Stevens had his dashboard camera on. “Pretext” is the izlammic stock in trade.

  • KyraNelson

    Daniel- when is your book coming out???? Ganoog! We want!