Trump Instructs U.S. Navy to Destroy Iranian Gunboats ‘If They Harass Our Ships at Sea’

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had instructed the U.S. Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass it at sea, a week after 11 vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to U.S. ships in the Gulf.

Close interactions with Iranian military vessels were not uncommon in 2016 and 2017. On several occasions, U.S. Navy ships fired warning shots at Iranian vessels when they got too close.

While the Navy has the authority to act in self-defense, Trump’s comments appeared to go further and are likely to stoke tensions between Iran and the United States.

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump wrote in a tweet, hours after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps said it had launched the country’s first military satellite into orbit.

Earlier this month, the U.S. military said eleven vessels from the IRGCN came dangerously close to U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships in the Gulf, calling the moves “dangerous and provocative.”

At one point, the Iranian vessels came within 10 yards of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Maui.

While such interactions at sea had occurred occasionally a few years ago, they had stopped recently.

Tensions between Iran and the United States increased earlier this year after the United States killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in a drone strike in Iraq.

Iran retaliated on Jan. 8 with a rocket attack on Iraq’s Ain al-Asad base where U.S. forces were stationed. No U.S. troops were killed or faced immediate bodily injury, but more than 100 were later diagnosed with traumatic brain injury.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps said on Wednesday it had successfully launched the country’s first military satellite into orbit.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali, Lisa Lambert and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Responses

  1. “Socialism and Communism are the SAME ideology.” Confused James The Projectionist

    No, you are confused.

    Socialism and communism are RELATED. That does not make them the SAME.

    Socialism is not related to fascism. That is just you projecting. Communism and fascism are totalitarian but in the OPPOSITE direction. Communism on the left, fascism (Dear Leader) on the right.

    There is no denying any of these facts, but you persist anyway.

    Sigh… confusion is so debilitating. I feel sorry for your family having to put up with so much of it from you.

  2. >U-hurt<

    Still confused about Fascism, I see. Have your kindergarten teacher do a bit of research for you since you don't know how. [I've given you the OFFICIAL definition at least 4 times and you are obviously too ignorant to be able to read. THAT seems to be the ongoing problem with Socialist indoctrination versus an education.]

    Socialism and Communism are the SAME ideology.

  3. Don’t be confused.

    As a fascist, our Dear Leader would not be beyond using a foreign conflict as a domestic distraction. He has done it before (China, Iran, N.K., the “wall”, travel bans, immigrant caravans, etc.). He will do it again.

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