Trump Instructs U.S. Navy To Fire On Iranian Boats If Harassed
April 22, 202012:25 PM ET
Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats come close to a U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf near Kuwait, in this photo provided by the U.S. Navy.AP via U.S. Navy
President Trump says the U.S. Navy should fire on Iranian boats if they continue to harass U.S. warships in the Gulf, a move that raises the prospect of open hostilities between the two rivals.
The president’s Wednesday morning tweet came shortly after Iran announced it had successfully launched a military satellite into orbit for the first time.
With the U.S. and Iran both battling to control a coronavirus outbreak at home, the ongoing friction between the two countries had receded from the headlines.
But Wednesday’s developments point to an escalation of tensions that have been building in recent days.
Iran sent small boats, known as “fast boats,” toward the American warships, with one coming as close as 10 yards, according to the Navy, which released a video. The Pentagon accused Iran of sending 11 fast boats to make “dangerous and harassing approaches” to six American warships.