U.S. Navy Warns Iran: We Will Open Fire if You Get Too Close

U.S. Navy issues warning to Iranians not to come within 100 meters of its warships or be fired upon a month after Trump made threat ‘to shoot down and destroy’ their gunboats

  • The U.S. Navy issued a stark warning Tuesday that all vessels are to maintain a distance of at least 100 meters from its ships in international waters  
  • It said any vessel within this parameter would be ‘interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures’
  • Measures could amount to warning shots to force the other vessel away 
  • The warning targeted Iranian vessels after recent close encounters
  • It comes a month after President Trump instructed the Navy ‘to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea’
  • On Sunday, Iran complained to the United Nations over possible measures Washington could take against an Iranian fuel shipment to Venezuela

Frances Mulraney – Daily Mail May 19, 2020

Three Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats are seen near the U.S. aircraft carrier, USS George H. W. Bush while transiting Straits of Hormuz as U.S. Navy helicopter hovers over them during early hours of March 21, 2017.

The U.S. Navy issued a stark warning to Iranian vessels on Tuesday not to come within 100 meters of its warships or risk being fired upon.

It announced that vessels in the Mideast that came closer than this to an American ship would be ‘interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures’.

The Navy issued the notice for the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf.

It comes just a month after President Donald Trump instructed the Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass American vessels following a close encounter in the Persian Gulf.

Defensive measures have typically included turning a ship away from the approaching vessel, sounding its horn, shooting off flares and ultimately firing warning shots to force the vessel away.

But offering a specific distance is new for the Navy.

‘Our ships are conducting routine operations in international waters wherever international law allows and do not seek conflict,’ said Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a Bahrain-based 5th Fleet spokeswoman.

‘However, our commanding officers retain the right to self-defense if deemed necessary.’

While 100 meters may seem far, it’s incredibly close for large warships that have difficulty in turning quickly, like aircraft carriers.

It comes after the U.S. accused Iran of conducting ‘dangerous and harassing’ maneuvers near American warships in the northern Persian Gulf in April.

Iran also had been suspected of briefly seizing a Hong Kong-flagged oil tanker just before that.

In April, Trump warned on Twitter: ‘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 did not cite a specific event in his tweet or provide details but it is thought to have been linked to an incident involving the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet.

A group of 11 ships with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns of the fleet at close range and high speeds in April – with one passing within just 10 meters of a Coast Guard cutter.

The ‘dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision,’ a statement from U.S. Central Command said, adding that U.S commanders on the scene ‘retain the inherent right to self-defense.’

The American vessels included the USS Paul Hamilton, a Navy destroyer; the USS Lewis B. Puller, a ship that serves as an afloat landing base; and the USCGC Maui. Coastguard vessels are part of U.S. forces in the Gulf.

The ships were operating with U.S. Army Apache attack helicopters in international waters, the statement said.

U.S. forces issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio, fired five short blasts from the ships’ horns and long-range acoustic noise maker devices, but received no immediate response from the Iranian vessels, officials said.

Screen shot of IRGC Navy patrol boat from a video taken be crew memeber of the USS Nitze. Click to enlarge

Eventually, after around an hour, the Iranian ships acknowledged the warnings over the bride-to-bridge radio and then maneuvered away.

Iranian officials did not immediately acknowledge the incident.

After Trump’s tweet, however, General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, accused Trump of ‘bullying’ and said the American president should focus on taking care of U.S service members infected with the coronavirus.

His tweet came amid a re-escalation of tension, with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards saying hours earlier that that they had launched the country’s first military satellite, which the U.S. regards as a cover for missile development.

The U.S. Navy has years of experience with Iranian forces getting that close, namely the hard-line, paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

Their armed speedboats routinely cut across their paths when going through the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20 percent of all oil passes.

Tensions have been high between Iran and the U.S. ever since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.

Last summer saw a series of escalating attacks targeting oil tankers and other sites around the Persian Gulf.

A burning vehicle at Baghdad International Airport shotly after the US drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani. Click to enlarge

It reached a crescendo in January with the U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and an Iranian ballistic missile strike of American forces in Iraq in retaliation.

Those tensions had been expected to rise after Iran’s government overcame the initial chaos that engulfed its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, Iran complained to the United Nations and summoned the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, who represents U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic, over possible measures Washington could take against an Iranian fuel shipment to Venezuela.

A senior official Trump’s administration told Reuters on Thursday the United States was considering measures it could take in response to Iran’s shipment of fuel to crisis-stricken Venezuela.

The oil sectors of Iran and Venezuela, members of OPEC, are both under U.S. sanctions.

The administration official declined to specify the measures being weighed but said options would be presented to Trump.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi passed on a message to the Swiss ambassador on Sunday warning against any U.S. threat against the Iranian tankers, according to a report on the foreign ministry website.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also wrote a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Iran ‘reserves its right to take all appropriate and necessary measures and decisive action … to secure its legitimate rights and interests against such bullying policies and unlawful practices,’ Zarif wrote to Guterres.

‘This hegemonic gunboat diplomacy seriously threatens freedom of international commerce and navigation and the free flow of energy,’ Zarif wrote.

‘These efforts by the U.S. to take coercive measures to disrupt Iran’s oil sale is a dangerous escalation.’

At least one tanker carrying fuel loaded at an Iranian port has set sail for Venezuela, according to vessel tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon on Wednesday, which could help ease an acute scarcity of gasoline in the South American country.

Venezuela is in desperate need of gasoline and other refined fuel products to keep the country functioning amid an economic collapse under socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela produces crude oil but its infrastructure has been crippled during the economic crisis.


4 responses to “U.S. Navy Warns Iran: We Will Open Fire if You Get Too Close”

  1. The title should have been:

    Iranian Navy Warns the U.S.: We Will Open Fire if You Get Too Close

    “Venezuela produces crude oil but its infrastructure has been crippled during the economic crisis.”

    1) Why and how has Venezuela’s infrastructure been crippled during the economic crisis?

    2) Which economic crisis? The one brought on by the US? The one brought on by the bullshit epidemic? Both?
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    Voltman July 25, 2019
    “The US Military is a war machine run by circus clowns. So to all those people out there who think that the US is spoiling for a fight with Iran, I have a message for you, if Iran did take on the US, these clowns leading the US Military wouldn’t know the first thing to do in a real shooting war. You have clowns leading soldiers that will be dying for clowns not country.

    Message to the US: Go ahead and start a war with Iran. In two weeks, the US forces will be yelping back to America, and then you will have to deal with all the mutinies that will occur, when the soldiers and seaman find out how ridiculously underprepared and under experienced their military leadership is.”

    U.S. Dissidents Warn government vaccinators:
    “We Will Open Fire if You Get Too Close!”

  2. @Dorian:


    It’s the kind that is left over after hundreds, probably thousands of purges in the US military.
    I’m no military authority but I have heard of real serious purges under Bull Clinton, George Wonderful Bush, Barry O’Bumma and Trumpenstein (King Vyrus). I would bet they were going on before with G.W. Bush, Reagan, etc… but I know nothing of it. Apparently, during Bull Clinton’s time in the oval orifice, close to a hundred high-ranking officers died in a suspicious plane crash. I haven’t come across any information that would corroborate that story but it was surmised by some that these officers were likely conscientious objectors to certain parts of the globalist plans. Before and after 9/11 there was a flurry of purges but it seems to be a subject that’s not talked about much in the circles I circulate in.

    “And the seasons, they go round and round
    And the painted ponies go up and down
    We’re captive on the carousel of time
    We can’t return we can only look
    Behind from where we came
    And go round and round and round
    In the circle game”

    Joni Mitchell – The Circle Game
    Album: Ladies of the Canyon – 1970
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  3. The USA has no right to be Iranian waters anyway
    Iran has no homeless
    there are tent cities all across the USA even now in Washington itself
    it should stop all these wars and feed and house its damn people

  4. This does not make sense, US is destroying its already damaged economy with covid19 measures while still maddeningly obsessed with Iran. https://www.usdebtclock.org/

    Such warnings from US are for PR purposes. Pentagon knows that it can’t start a war with Iran, because Iran will fight back effectively and this is a very bad time to get into “The Mother of All Wars” as George Galloway would say. On the other hand they see Iran sending 5 oil-tankers through its backyard to Venezuela would effectively show the weakness and failure of such unilateral sanctions and would further damage its global prestige. So they have to use their powerful media to compensate for field-realities.

    Real parasites in nature do not take so much from their host victim as to kill it. If the host dies they would have a problem too. Zionist Jews however work differently, just as they see US is almost passing out, they start sucking even more blood! For them fall of US is just change of plan, they will move to the next superpower and operate from there. States like California know this and legitimately want secession, interestingly weaker groups such as YesCalifornia have even sought support from Iran.

    Check out this George Galloway show: