US Navy Releases Video of Iranian Military's 'Dangerous and Harassing' Actions


U.S. Navy operators in the Persian Gulf reportedly faced close encounters Wednesday with a series of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels.

According to a Navy news release, the USS Lewis B. Puller, USS Paul Hamilton, USS Firebolt, USS Sirocco, USCGC Wrangell and USCGC Maui had been conducting joint training exercises with U.S. Army air units in international waters when they were subjected to several “dangerous and harassing approaches” by 11 IRGC Navy interceptors.

The approaches, described as high-speed, close-range passes across the front and rear of moving U.S. vessels, were alleged to have come within 10 yards of direct contact on at least one instance — in clear violation of international maritime rules established by the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

Despite numerous warnings, however, the Iranian vessels did not depart the area of operations for roughly an hour.

A brief video of the dangerous behavior has since been released on the U.S. Navy‘s official Twitter account.

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“The U.S. crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio, five short blasts from the ships’ horns and long-range acoustic noise maker devices, but received no response from the IRGCN,” the release read.

“The IRGCN’s dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision,” the release went on. “U.S. naval forces continue to remain vigilant and are trained to act in a professional manner, while our commanding officers retain the inherent right to act in self-defense.”

Grappling with the ballooning impacts of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, Iran has tapered its regional aggression since the start of the new year.

This is not, however, the first instance of Iranian military posturing aimed at the U.S. since tensions boiled over between the two nations in January following an Iran-backed siege of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and ensuing U.S. airstrike that killed IRGC Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump warned on Twitter that an unconfirmed Iranian “sneak attack on US troops” was in the offing in the Middle East.

The claim came just one week after American deployment of Patriot air defense missile systems to Iraq — an action Iran’s foreign ministry derided as Western “warmongering,” according to Al Jazeera.

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Seemingly throwing to the wind a nonbinding January vote by the Iraqi parliament to expel U.S. troops from the nation, the deployment was painted by Iran as a show of force with the potential to trigger instability.

The Pentagon, for its part, said the deployment was part of an enhanced effort to keep coalition forces in Iraq safe from potential Iranian aggression.

“The U.S. is moving defensive systems into Iraq to protect Iraqi, coalition, and U.S. service members from a variety of air threats seen at Iraqi bases that host coalition troops,” Pentagon spokesman Sean Robertson said.

“It is important to note that repeated attacks on Iraqi bases, which violate Iraqi sovereignty, have killed and injured Iraqi, coalition, and U.S. service members,” he continued. “The establishment of ground-based air defenses in Iraq continues, but for operational security reasons, we are not providing status updates as those systems come online.”

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.