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Thread: Iranian Ships Harassing US Ships In International Waters, Now With US Warning Shots

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    Default Iranian Ships Harassing US Ships In International Waters, Now With US Warning Shots


    Destroyer USS Nitze Harassed by Iranian Patrol Boats

    August 24, 2016



    The guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG-94) was followed and harassed by four Iranian patrol boats on Tuesday in the Persian Gulf, defense officials confirmed to USNI News.

    The destroyer was in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz when four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy high-speed patrol boats came at the ship without responding to hails or warning flares fired from Nitze, according to a video of the incident provided to USNI News.

    “This is USS Nitze reporting from the Southern Arabian Gulf,” said a voice on the video reporting the ship’s location and speed.
    “We have visual contact with four Iranian… WPBs… Bridge to bridge COMMS were conducted but no response. Weapons uncovered… appears to be unsafe, unprofessional.”

    While the voice is making the radio report, the four patrol boats speed in a serpentine formation toward Nitze with their deck weapons uncovered. Flares from the destroyer attempt to warn away the patrol boats as they close in on the ship.

    Nitze’s crew attempted to hail the boats a dozen times, fired ten warning flares at the patrol boats and blasted the ship’s whistle to sound a maritime danger signal to no apparent effect, a defense official confirmed to USNI News late Wednesday.

    Two of the patrol boats came within 300 yards of the destroyer before slowing and breaking off their chase.

    “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 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.”

    Officials said Nitze was operating with the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG-87) and was exiting the Persian Gulf when Nitze was approached by the Iranian patrol vessels with no warning.

    Nitze is part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, centered on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). The CSG is in the region conducting strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). In late June, another ship in the strike group — USS San Jacinto (CG-56) — was harassed in the Eastern Mediterranean by a Russian frigate.

    Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy

    Unlike the regular Iranian Navy, the IRGCN is a paramilitary organization that reports directly to Iran’s sectarian leadership.

    Since 2007, the IRGCN has been responsible for the coastal defense of Iran and has been at the center of several violations of international maritime law involving the U.S. and U.K.

    In the same year they started coastal patrols, IRGCN forces captured 15 U.K. Royal Navy personnel embarked in a small boat from HMS Cornwall in international waters.

    Last year, the IRGCN captured the U.S. flagged commercial ship M/V Maersk Tigris and held the ship for more than a week in Iran.

    In January, the IRGCN captured ten U.S. riverine sailors and held them overnight on Farsi Island after the sailors strayed into Iranian waters.

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    Default Re: Iranian Ships Harassing US Ships In International Waters, Now With US Warning Sho


    U.S. Warship Fires 3 Warning Shots As Iran Escalates Confrontations

    August 25, 2016

    A day after four Iranian boats harassed a destroyer in the Persian Gulf, a similar squad of vessels came after three more U.S. ships on Wednesday, according to a U.S. Navy spokesman.

    The destroyer Stout and the coastal patrol ships Tempest and Squall were all approached throughout the day by small boats, 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban told Navy Times, escalating to three warning shots fired, as Iranian paramilitaries seek more confrontations in the Persian Gulf.

    Tempest and Squall had two run-ins on Wednesday. First, three Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy vessels proceeded across Tempest's bow within 600 yards on three occasions, risking a collision.

    Tempest blasted the ship's whistle three times while trying to establish radio contact, but received no response.

    "Later, the Tempest and Squall were harassed by a Naser-class WAP Iranian vessel that closed Tempest head-on to within 200 yards," Urban said. "This situation presented a drastically increased risk of collision, and the Iranian vessel refused to safely maneuver in accordance with internationally recognized maritime rules of the road, despite several request and warnings via radio, and visual and audible warnings from both U.S. ships."

    The U.S. patrol ships were operating in international waters at the time. Tempest fired three warning flares at the Iranian vessel as it called out on the radio and through the loudspeaker.

    "Ultimately, Squall resorted to firing three warning shots from their .50-caliber gun, which caused the Iranian vessel to turn away," he added.

    Later that day, the destroyer Stout, part of the deployed Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, was operating in the same area when the same Naser-class WAP vessel approached, proceeding across the bow three times at close range.

    "In response to the vessel's unsafe approach, Stout maneuvered away from the harassing IRGCN vessel to avoid collision and employed devices to discourage the IRGCN vessel from continuing their approach towards Stout," Urban said.

    U.S. Naval Forces Central Command deemed all three interactions unsafe and unprofessional in a week that has now seen four separate harassment attempts by Iranian forces.

    A U.S. defense official says the shots were fired by the Squall, a patrol ship. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly so spoke anonymously.

    Iran says its naval forces will warn or confront any ship entering its territorial waters.

    The same Iranian boat that harassed the Tempest also crossed in front of the destroyer Stout three times at a high rate of speed on Wednesday in the same region. The U.S. official called it an unsafe intercept, and said the Stout had to maneuver to avoid a collision.

    In the third incident, three Iranian boats crossed in front of the Tempest at high speed, coming within 600 yards of the ship.

    Iran's defense minister said Thursday that his naval forces will warn or confront any foreign ship entering the country's territorial waters, The Associated Press reported.

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    Default Re: Iranian Ships Harassing US Ships In International Waters, Now With US Warning Sho


    Navy Destroyer Has Close Encounter With Iranian Vessel In Persian Gulf

    April 25, 2017

    A U.S. Navy destroyer had another close encounter with an Iranian Revolutionary Guard "fast attack craft" in the Persian Gulf Monday.

    Two U.S. officials tell Fox News that the Iranian ship came within 1,000 yards of the guided missile destroyer USS Mahan with its weapons manned.

    The officials said the Mahan altered course to avoid the Iranian warship, sounded the danger signal, fired flares and manned its own weapons.

    The Iranian ship did not come closer than 1,000 yards and no warning shots were fired.

    In January, USS Mahan fired warning shots at an Iranian warship near the Strait of Hormuz.

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    Default Re: Iranian Ships Harassing US Ships In International Waters, Now With US Warning Sho


    US Navy Ship Fires Warning Shots At Iranian Ship In Persian Gulf

    July 25, 2017

    A U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots at an Iranian ship in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, U.S. defense officials confirmed to Fox News.

    The U.S. Navy coastal patrol ship fired warning shots from its .50-caliber machine gun at an Iranian patrol boat when it came within 150 yards of the ship in the Persian Gulf, according to two U.S. defense officials.

    The Iranian ship ignored repeated radio calls from the USS Thunderbolt, which also launched flares to warn the fast approaching Iranian ship, officials said.

    The incident happened Tuesday as a formation of U.S. Navy warships was doing an exercise in the Northern Persian Gulf.

    It’s the first time since January a U.S. Navy warship has fired warning shots at an Iranian vessel which approached too close.

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