Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, January 07, 2008

Gunboat Diplomacy, Iran Style

Even the bloodthirsty, wildly anti-American terrorists at Hamas made some conciliatory noise on the eve of President Bush's trip later this week to the Middle East, but Iran proved again that it is a nation far, far outside international norms, as it dialed up a bit of pre-visit hostile action:
WASHINGTON (AP/Yahoo) - Iranian boats harassed and provoked three American Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, threatening to explode the vessels, U.S. officials said Monday, calling it the most serious such incident in years.

U.S. forces were taking steps toward firing on the Iranians to defend themselves, said the U.S. naval commander in the region. But the boats — believed to be from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy — turned and moved away, officials said.

"We take this deadly seriously," Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff told a Pentagon news conference via video from Bahrain. ...

Cosgriff said the incident occurred at about 8 a.m. local time Sunday as Navy cruiser USS Port Royal, destroyer USS Hopper and frigate USS Ingraham were on their way into the Persian Gulf and passing through the strait — a major oil shipping route.

Five small boats began charging the U.S. ships, dropping box-like objects in the water in front of one of the ships and forcing the U.S. ships to take evasive maneuvers, said Cosgriff, commander of the 5th Fleet and of naval forces in the U.S. Central Command region.

The Iranian boats came to less than 500 yards from the U.S. formation and at one point broke into two groups, one group going to one side and the other to the others side of the Americans. Officials said there were no injuries.

"At one point during this encounter ... the ships received a radio call that was threatening in nature, to the effect that they were closing (in on) our ships and that the ships would explode — the U.S. ships would explode," Cosgriff said.

Oooh, just a bit more provocation, please! It would be just swell if one of the Rev. Guard boats had actually fired on us, so we could blow them to paradise Hell, sending the Mouse that Roared Mullahs back on their heels a bit.

More at Captain's Quarters and AP)

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