• Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:43 am

Exclusive: In veiled warning to Iran, US tells Gulf mariners to stay clear of its warships

  • Published at 10:24 am May 20th, 2020
Gulf of Oman-Oil tankers
Iranian State TV IRIB reportedly shows smoke billowing from a tanker said to have been attacked off the coast of Oman on June 13, 2019 AFP

In early January, the US killed top Iranian military commander

In an alert that appeared aimed squarely at Iran, the US. Navy issued a warning on Tuesday to mariners in the Gulf to stay 100 meters (yards) away from US warships or risk being “interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures.”

The notice to mariners, which was first reported by Reuters, follows US President Donald Trump’s threat last month to fire on any Iranian ships that harass Navy vessels.

"Armed vessels approaching within 100 meters of a US naval vessel may be interpreted as a threat," according to the text of the notice. A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the new notice to mariners was not a change in the US military’s rules of engagement.

The Pentagon has stated that Trump’s threat was meant to underscore the Navy’s right to self-defense.

The Bahrain-based US Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement that its notice was “designed to enhance safety, minimize ambiguity and reduce the risk of miscalculation.”

It follows an incident last month in which 11 Iranian vessels came close to US Navy and Coast Guard ships in the Gulf, in what the US military called “dangerous and provocative” behavior.

At one point, the Iranian vessels came within 10 yards (9 metres) of the US Coast Guard cutter Maui, the US military said.

Trump’s threat followed that incident, which Tehran, in turn, said was the fault of the United States.

The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards responded to Trump by threatening to destroy US warships if its security is threatened in the Gulf.

The back-and-forth is just latest example of razor-sharp tension between Washington and Tehran, which has steadily escalated since 2018, when Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed crippling sanctions.

Animosity reached historic heights in early January, when the United States killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad.

Iran retaliated on January 9, by firing missiles at bases in Iraq, causing brain injuries among US troops at one of them.

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

52
51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail