US Navy Warns Gulf Mariners of Defensive Measures After Close Encounters With Iranian Vessels

Last Month US President Had Ordered the Navy to Shoot Down the Vessel Harassing the Ship After a Close Encounter With Iran

The US Navy issued a maritime broadcast warning on Tuesday saying that armed vessels coming 100 meters near the US ship will be "interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures." According to the US Naval Forces Central Command, the "lawful defensive measure" was issued to "enhance safety, minimize ambiguity and reduce opportunities for miscalculation."

The statement by the Central Command also mentioned that: "Our ships are conducting routine operations in international waters wherever international law allows, and do not seek conflict, however, our commanding officers retain the right to self-defense if deemed necessary."

The warnings are being issued a month after the Pentagon claim that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy took "dangerous and provocative" steps while in the sea. After the incident, last month US President Donald Trump had also ordered the US Navy to "shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats harassing our ships at sea."

Iran Said That US Was Causing Disturbance in Gulf

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
The guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) transits the Arabian Sea. (Representational Image) Wikimedia Commons US Navy

When Trump issued the warning which was clearly aimed at Iran, a spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces, Abolfazl Shekarchi, called the threat by the US President a "psychological warfare" while criticizing the US for causing a disturbance in the Gulf.

Recently the two countries have been trading blame over the maneuvering in the Gulf waters. The IRGC Navy has blamed the US for repeated unprofessionalism in the Gulf. They had also criticized the US for threatening regional peace and security. The tension has started to rise between the two countries after Trump withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal. After the nuclear agreement was lifted Iran has faced the effects on its economy.

Trump has also followed a "maximum pressure" policy which led to Tehran saying that the country will not negotiate while the sanctions are in place. The policy has been met with Iran's "maximum resistance" policy. Iran and the US have always placed themselves strategically in the Strait of Hormuz where 20 percent of the world oil trade happens.