Navy Reports Iranian Ships ‘Harassed’ Coast Guard in Persian Gulf

Officials fault 'unprofessional' Iranian behavior

In early April, the US Navy reports, Iranian Revolutionary Guards ships, including attack boats and a support vessel, “swarmed” a pair of US Coast Guard cutters operating in international waters in the Persian Gulf.

Since US ships are constantly meandering around on the cusp of Iranian waters, it’s not unusual for the Iranians to go out there and see why. This was the first case of 2021, according to officials, who predictably complained about “unprofessional” behavior by the Iranians.

When the US sends ships to other nations’ maritime borders, they generally feign outrage at interception, even though as usual no actual military confrontation took place. US military ships would naturally do the same thing if another country’s military showed up off the coast.

The ships involved were the Coast Guard cutters Monomoy and Wragnell, and it’s worth nothing that they were much closer to the Iranian coast than any American coast. The navy claimed the Iranian boats came within 70 yards of the Wrangell.

That’s not that close in the grand scheme of things, and they were in radio communication with the Iranians the whole time. The similar 2020 incident claimed the boat was within 10 yards, and that didn’t result in any collisions either, just a bunch of threats from then-President Trump to shoot Iranian ships. It is likely only the recent round of tensions that brought US ships back to the area under Biden, and subsequently provoked new incidents.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.