Trump: US Navy Ordered to 'Destroy' Any Iranian Gunboats That Harass Our Ships
A video released by the Navy showed Iranian boats nearing US vessels
President Donald Trump said he has ordered the US Navy to “to shoot down and destroy" Iranian gunboats if they “harass” US ships.
The announcement comes after an encounter between Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and US warships in the Persian Gulf.
Trump wrote in a tweet on Wednesday morning:
"I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea."
I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2020
Reports from last week said Iranian fast boats were coming into close proximity with the US warships as they conducted a drill near Kuwait.
Reuters reported that the altercation involved 11 vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN)
A video released by the Navy showed Iranian boats nearing US vessels, as one pointing a deck-mounted machine gun towards the American ships.
But Iran’s Revolutionary Guard argued the close encounter was caused by “the unprofessional and provocative actions of the United States and their indifference to warnings."
But the Revolutionary Guard failed to show any evidence that supports their claim.
The Revolutionary Guard also alleged US vessels blocked Iranian warships earlier in the month.
Cruz Slams Feinstein for Supporting Billions To Iran While Dems Blocked Relief to Small Businesses— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) April 11, 2020
READ MORE: https://t.co/YnbkFJpHQD
The Navy said in a statement to AP:
“US forces continue to remain vigilant” in regards to their interactions with other ships and “are trained to act in a professional manner” during such incidents.
Over the weekend, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attacked Trump, writing:
“All you need to do is stop interfering in the affairs of other nations; mine especially.”
“And believe me, we do not take advice from ANY American politician.”
Trump's order to strike Iran's elite Quds Force, Gen. Qasem Soleimani earlier this year, was defended by the United Kingdom, saying the United States is “entitled to defend itself” against Iranian aggression while deploying the Royal Navy to the Persian Gulf.