For the second time within the last month, a US warship fired warning shots on Iranian vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
US Navy ships regularly transit the narrow waterway that is on Iran’s coast, and lately, US Coast Guard vessels have been getting involved. The Pentagon said on Monday that the US Coast Guard Cutter Maui fired 30 warning shots with a 50 caliber machine gun after 13 Iranian boats came within 300 yards and again at 150 yards of the US warships.
The Pentagon accused the Iranian boats of “harassment” and claimed that firing the shots was “self-defense.” But the Maui was accompanied by six US Navy vessels, including the guided-missile submarine USS Georgia. Sailing such a large naval flotilla so close to Iran’s coast is a provocation in itself.
The last incident took place on April 26th, when a US Navy patrol ship fired the warning shots at the Iranian boats. It’s not clear from the US military statements how close the US ships were to Iran’s coast during these incidents.