News reports make Iranian chases of U.S. warships look trivial – but they aren’t.
Defense officials have confirmed that the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG-94) was followed and harassed by four Iranian patrol boats with uncovered (ready-to-use) weapons Tuesday in the Persian Gulf
The Nize tried every available outlet to inform the fast boats that they were approaching a U.S. Navy ship and were in-danger.
Two of the patrol boats came within 300 yards of the destroyer before slowing and breaking off their chase.
“The Nitze and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) assessed the interaction as unsafe and unprofessional due to the Iranian vessels not abiding by international law and maritime standards including the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) maritime ‘Rules of the Road’,” a defense official told USNI News.
“The Iranian high rate of closure on a Unites States ship operating in accordance with international law while transiting in international waters along with the disregard of multiple warning attempts created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation including additional defensive measures by Nitze”
The flares, radio warnings, amplified vocal warnings .. none of them had an effect. The Iranians mysteriously broke-off their simulated attack just 300 yards from a U.S. Navy ship in international waters. Why?
It wasn’t the flares. It sure as hell wasn’t the verbal warnings that stopped the Iranians – it was their own plan.
The Russians did it in the cold war (as did the U.S.), the Iranians are copying the Russians cold war playbook because they see the United States as a similar threat. The difference for Americans is that our current administration has no idea how to deal with a militant and capable Iran, China or Russia.
What the Iranians were doing is what any competent adversary would do. They were probing naval defenses and observing the Navy’s reactions in order to understand just how to attack a destroyer when the time comes.
These boats wouldn’t have stood a chance against the destroyer, but their goal was only to gather intelligence on U.S. Navy responses to imminent threats.
No comments have come from the White House, but a Defense official said that the simulated attack was “unsafe and unprofessional” and that the four Iranian boats “came way too close for comfort.”
On Thursday, the Tasnim news agency quoted Iran’s defense minister as saying that “if any foreign vessel enters our waters, we warn them, and if it’s an invasion, we confront.”
The Iranian simulated attack happened in the international waters of the Strait of Hormuz.
Back in July, five heavily armed Iranian ships shadowed the U.S.S. New Orleans, but but did not display this level of aggressive behavior.