Iran v USA: Tensions flare as Iranian vessels ‘harass’ US Navy after oil tanker seizure

Following the breakdown in ties between the two which almost threw the Middle East into crisis, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was accused of harassing US ships on Wednesday. Iranian vessels reportedly conducted approaches towards six US Navy ships. The US Navy said: “11 Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels repeatedly conducted dangerous & harassing approaches against U.S. naval ships operating in international waters of North Arabian Gulf.

“US crews took actions deemed appropriate to avoid a collision.

“The US 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.

“After approximately one hour, the IRGCN vessels responded to the bridge-to-bridge radio queries, then manoeuvred away from the US ships and opened distance between them.

This confrontation happened a day after Iran’s special forces seized a Hong Kong-Flagged tank in the Gulf of Oman.

The ship was then redirected into Iranian waters before being released.

The US Navy also stated such actions were against maritime conventions and customs.

Iran, however, has accused the US of blocking its ships in two separate occasions this month.

The Islamic Republic stated it would act decisively to any miscalculation by the US.

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Since the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal last year, tensions have deteriorated between the two states.

Under the treaty, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities and allow international inspectors into the country.

Following the US’ withdrawal, Donald Trump instituted heavy sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Iran has since insisted it will not adhere to any of the regulations set out in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.


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Tensions almost reached critical levels after the US assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

In the weeks following the attack, both countries exchanged retaliatory attacks with the US President warning against any sneak attack by the Islamic Republic.

He said: “Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on US troops and/or assets in Iraq.

“If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!”

In preparation for any attack against the Islamic Republic, Iran has acquired three bomb-carrying drones.

Defence Minister, Amir Hatami said the drones could monitor any enemy movements from large distances.

The bomb-carrying drones have a range of 932 miles and will prove to be a key asset in the region.

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