Iranian Boat Forces Near Collision With USS Firebolt in Persian Gulf

fireboltA fast attack craft from Iran’s Islamic Republican Guard came within 100 yards of a U.S. Navy ship in the Persian Gulf, on Sunday.  This incident is the fourth of it’s kind in less than one month.  There have been 31 unsafe America encounters with Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf so far this year, up from 23 in all of 2015, the official said.

US Army Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander of US Central Command, last week called the Iranian conduct “concerning.”
“In recent days, we have witnessed even more provocative activity by the IRGC and Navy vessels. That type of behavior is very concerning, and we hope to see Iran’s naval forces act in a more professional manner,” he said.
Votel believes the “unsafe, unprofessional” behavior is an attempt by Iran to “exert their influence and authority in the region.”

In this incident, CNN reports the Iranian boat stopped abruptly and directly in the path of a U.S. ship, forcing the 174-foot USS Firebolt it to take aggressive maneuvers to avoid a collision.

The U.S. ship tried to communicate with the Iranian ship by radio three times but received no response.

In late August, a U.S. Navy patrol craft fired warning shots toward an Iranian fast-attack vessel that approached two U.S. ships.

At the time, Iran’s defense minister said Iranian vessels were just doing their job.


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