US Warship Fires Warning Shots at Iranian Speed Boats for Going ‘Too Fast’

Iranian Ships Were Some 800 Meters Away, Navy Confirms

US Navy Destroyer the USS Mahan fired warning shots at a group of Iranian speed boats in the area near the Strait of Hormuz, Pentagon officials confirmed, after the Iranian boats behaved in “an unprofessional” way and refused to stop going so fast.

Such “incidents” are ubiquitous in the area around the Strait, as Iran makes a habit of having boats in its territorial water keep tabs on US warships sailing past, and the US condemns every interaction in which they can even see an Iranian ship as “unprofessional and unsafe.” This means virtually every time a US ship of note goes through the strait such a statement happens. This is, however, rare in that the US fired “warning shots.”

It’s not clear that the warning shots were really much of a deal, as the Iranian boats were some 800 meters away, even according to Pentagon reckoning, and the small Iranian patrol boats are built for speed and maneuverability, and never get much closer than that anyhow, irrespective of US “warnings.”

Media outlets reported that the incident is more in line with President-elect Donald Trump’s calls to shoot every Iranian boat out of the water if it gets too close to a US warship, though it has never been established what “too close” is, nor indeed the Pentagon indicate how fast the Iranian boats were even going, except that it was “too fast” by their reckoning.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of