WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy revealed that attack boats of the Iran Revolutionary Guard harassed two U.S. Coast Guard vessels just after the US and Iranian governments committed to new negotiations. Here are the details.
NBC reports that a group of Iranian vessels from the country’s Revolutionary Guard harassed two U.S. Coast Guard ships for three hours in the Persian Gulf earlier this month.
The U.S. Navy said on Tuesday that this was the first such incident in a year, and the encounter on April 2 came just as the U.S. and Iran had restarted negotiations on reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.
Three Iranian fast-attack boats and one larger ship, a 55-meter, twin-hulled vessel, approached and swarmed the Coast Guard ships at close range.
The larger Iranian ship repeatedly crossed in front of the two U.S. vessels at an unnecessarily close range, coming within 70 yards, according to a U.S. Navy statement.
Some regional experts say the Revolutionary Guard has sought to provoke tense encounters in the past to undermine Iranian diplomacy with the West.
Iran’s foreign minister recently said the Revolutionary Guard has often undercut his government’s diplomacy, and that he himself had “zero” influence over foreign policy.
The ongoing tension between Iran and the U.S. is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous political powder kegs, which could ignite and explode into a third world war.
That’s because any military conflict between the two nations would likely draw in all of the world’s most powerful countries.
SOURCES: NBC, WSJ, Newsweek, CNN