IRGCN speedboats are shown during a 2015 naval exercise. (Wikimedia Commons)

US Reiterates Warning to Stay Away from its Warships in Gulf

The US Navy has issued a stern warning to mariners in the “Arabian Sea, Gulf Of Oman [and] Persian Gulf” to remain more than 100 yards away from American warships “to enhance safety, minimize ambiguity, and reduce opportunities for miscalculation.” The warning reflects existing policy but appears aimed mostly at Iran, whose vessels recently harassed US vessels staging an exercise. “[A]ll vessels are advised to maintain a safe distance of at least 100 meters [yards] from US naval vessels in international waters/straits. Armed vessels approaching within 100 meters… may be interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures…. All vessels operating in the vicinity of US naval vessels are advised to clearly communicate intentions, respond to queries concerning course and speed, exercise principles of prudent seamanship as required under international law, and remain at the maximum available distance….” The April incident involved 11 small gunboats of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN), at least one of which, according the US, came within nine yards of a moving American warship. Afterwards, President Donald Trump threatened to open fire on such Iranian vessels. No further incidents were reported.

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