On Monday, the Iranian Navy thought it would be a good idea to use one of their fastest attack vessels to come within 1,000 yards of United States Navy missile destroyer USS Mahan. Making the situation even more dangerous, the Iranians had their weapons manned and prepared to fire as if they intended to really attack a United States Navy missile destroyer and weren’t simply playing a game of chicken. In response, the crew of the USS Mahan manned their stations and were fully prepared to eliminate the threat. As a preemptive measure, the USS Mahan launched warning flares, and this was enough for the Iranian vessel to back off.
With President Trump in the White House, the Iranian government seems to be testing the waters to see how much they can bully the United States. Unfortunately for them, Barack Obama isn’t President anymore, and President Trump is. President Trump has made it abundantly clear from day one that he has no patience in dealing with reckless behavior from Iran who posses a constant threat to the state of Israel and who is also the world’s largest sponsor of terrorist organizations. For decades, the Iranians have been using Hezbollah and Hamas to exact revenge in some fashion on Israel and threaten U.S. Forces.
This is not the first time that an Iranian Naval vessel has displayed aggressive behavior toward a United States Navy vessel. Back in July of this year, a U.S. Navy patrol boat fired several rounds of machine gun fire at an Iranian ship, which was making a very aggressive approach toward the U.S. Navy patrol boat. The Iranian ship, which was part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, was not identified by name, but U.S. officials confirmed they came within 150 yards of the U.S. Navy patrol boat prompting the machine gun fire.
At the time of the incident, the United States Navy didn’t confirm the exact location of the incident but did reveal they were engaged in maritime training with other U.S. led coalition ships. Many of the details about this incident in July were kept under wraps, but it has been confirmed that the U.S. vessel was the USS Thunderbolt which is capable of carrying a crew of 27 sailors, and is armed with .50 caliber machine guns as well as MK-38 chain guns, and grenade launchers.
The Washington Post reported on this July incident and was able to obtain additional details from the United States Navy. “Video released by the U.S. Central Command shows the Iranian vessel approaching the Thunderbolt’s starboard side, extremely close to the ship’s bow. An American sailor can be heard radioing the ships’ coordinates, and then the sound of machine-gun fire.
“The Iranian vessel did not respond to repeated attempts to establish radio communications as it approached,” said Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Defense Department spokesman. “Thunderbolt then fired warning flares and sounded the internationally recognized danger signal of five short blasts on the ship’s whistle, but the Iranian vessel continued inbound. As the Iranian vessel proceeded toward the U.S. ship, Thunderbolt again sounded five short blasts before firing warning shots in front of the Iranian vessel.”
The outcome of both of these incidents is in stark contrast to an incident where several U.S. Navy Sailors were detained by Iranian forces when Barack Obama was President. After U.S. Navy officials conducted an investigation, they found that the senior leaders of the U.S. Navy vessel detained by the Iranians were negligent. However, it was how the Obama Administration handled the situation. Eventually all the sailors were released unharmed, but not before the Iranian government decided to make a spectacle of the situation.
Now that President Trump and James Mattis are in charge, it would be wise for the Iranians to understand with whom they are dealing with. President Trump and James “Mad Dog” Mattis have made it clear to Iran and to America’s other enemies that there will be no apologies for self-defense, and American forces will no longer hide or run away. It is very likely that if Iranian forces continue to threaten United States Naval vessels, the consequences for the Iranians will be lethal.
President Trump has not commented on this most recent incident with Iran as he has been focusing on the commemoration of those lost during the terrorist attacks 9/11.