The U.S. Navy condemned the actions of the Iranian “Islamic Revolutionary Guard Crops Navy” (IRGCN) on Tuesday. Their “actions were deemed unsafe and unprofessional” as they came into close range of U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf.
U.S. 5th Fleet spokeswoman, Commander Rebecca Rebarich, said “Their actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision, were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) ‘rules of the road’ or internationally recognized maritime customs, and were not in accordance with the obligation under international law to act with due regard for the safety of other vessels in the area.”
Iranian ships were seen, in a video released by the U.S. 5th Fleet, harassing the Navy’s USS Firebolt and the Coast Guard’s patrol boat the USCGC Baranoff.
IRGCN ships came as close to 68 yards near U.S. forces and crossing in front of them several times.
Part of the Navy’s statement said, “The U.S. crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and loud-hailer devices, but the IRGCN vessels continued their close-range maneuvers. The crew of Firebolt then fired warning shots, and the IRGCN vessels moved away to a safe distance from the U.S. vessels.”
The IRGCN never made their intentions clear as their 3 armed speed boats swarmed around the two U.S. ships.
The end of the Navy’s statement said that they were not the aggressor and they upheld a protective posture.
“The U.S. is not an aggressor; our naval forces remain postured in a non-provocative manner that exemplifies professionalism, incentivizes adherence to international law and customs, and persuades others to emulate our actions. Our forces are trained, however, to conduct effective defensive measures when necessary,” they wrote.
This is the second time this month there was an incident, the first being on April 2, where a 180 foot Iranian catamaran ship called Harth 55 darted in front of U.S. forces almost causing a collision.