Archive for the ‘provocation’ Category

US admiral says Iran risks Gulf conflict

January 11, 2008
By SEBASTIAN ABBOT, Associated Press Writer 

CAIRO, Egypt – The top U.S. military commander in the Mideast said Friday that Iran runs the risk of triggering an unintended conflict if its boats continue to harass U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.

This image released by the US Navy Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008, and ...
This image released by the US Navy Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008, and shot Sunday, Jan. 6 from the bridge of the destroyer USS Hopper, shows a small blue boat, alleged to be Iranian, purportedly racing near the wake of U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf. The incident, which President George W. Bush denounced Tuesday as a ‘provocative act,’ was videotaped by a crew member on the bridge of the destroyer USS Hopper, one of the three ships that faced down five Iranian boats in a flare-up early Sunday.
(AP Photo/U.S. Navy)

Adm. William J. Fallon, chief of U.S. Central Command, said a threatening radio call heard during an encounter Sunday between U.S. Navy ships and Iranian boats in the Strait of Hormuz was likely connected to Iran’s provocative actions. He said the exact origin of the message was still unknown.

“This kind of behavior, if it happens in the future, is the kind of event that could precipitate a mistake,” Fallon told The Associated Press. “If the boats come closer, at what point does the captain think it is a direct threat to the ship and has to do something to stop it?”

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U.S. Has Audio, Video of Iran’s “Provocation”

January 8, 2008
By Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press Writer

CAIRO, Egypt – The U.S. military has video and audio recordings of Iranian high-speed boats that threatened to blow up a three-ship U.S. convoy in the Persian Gulf and plans to release them, the top U.S. Navy commander in the Mideast said Tuesday.

Iranian Navy boats during 2000 maneuvers. Washington warned ...
AFP file photo of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard at sea.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said that its boats never threatened the U.S. vessels during the encounter early Sunday in the Hormuz Strait, insisting it only asked them to identify themselves then let them continue into the Gulf.

But U.S. Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff disputed that account, saying the incident was “provocative.”

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Secretary of Defense Gates Reacts to Iran’s “Provocation”

January 8, 2008

From Deutsche Welle

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates has said that Iran acted recklessly when five Iranian speed boats swarmed three US warships and threatened to blow them up in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday. The Iranians dropped boxes in the path of one vessel but retreated just before a naval commander on one of the US warships was about to issue an order to fire. The Iranian government has dismissed the encounter, saying it was “something normal”. Gates said the strait was a volatile area and the chance of a military incident was escalating. Almost a quarter of the world’s crude oil passes through the strait.

In San Diego, Secreatary Gates was interviewed by the Union-Tribune.

“The risk of an incident or an incident escalating is real,” he said, describing the Tehran regime as very unpredictable. “I can’t imagine what was on their minds.”

Five Revolutionary Guard speedboats repeatedly charged toward a Navy cruiser, destroyer and frigate in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, dropping boxes in front of the U.S. ships and reportedly transmitting a radio message in which they threatened to blow up the Americans.

The three Navy ships were about to open fire when the five Iranian speedboats veered off at the last moment and raced away.

The Revolutionary Guards are a parallel military force within Iran, formed after the Islamic revolution there in 1979. They have their own ground, naval and air units, and are suspected by Washington of providing active support to terrorist groups in the Middle East.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry later characterized the incident as a case of mistaken identity, saying the speedboat crews turned away once they recognized the warships as American.

“It would be nice to see the Iranian government disavow this action and say it won’t happen again,” the secretary said.


U.S. Navy Says Iran “Provoking” Action from Warships

January 7, 2008

Peace and Freedom has learned that three U.S. Navy ships were harassed by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday.

The U.S. Navy said three of its warships were provoked and harassed in international waters by small craft from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Five small Iranian boats repeatedly “charged” the U.S. warships in the Gulf’s Hormuz Strait and dropped boxes in the water as the U.S. Navy ships approached.

The U.S. ships are the cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73), the guided missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) and and the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61).

In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, The guided missile ...
The U.S. Navy Guided Missile Cruiser USS Port Royal
(CG 73).  Photo provided by the U.S. Navy.

The Iranian boats departed the area when the crews of the U.S. warships manned their guns.

Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman called it a “serious incident.” Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, called it “the most serious provocation of this sort that we’ve seen yet.”

The incident, if in international waters, would appear to be a violation of international law.

The United States is expected to protest the activity.