First on CNN: Five Iranian boats fire shots in the Persian Gulf

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The incident began when five small fast boats, believed to be manned by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy approached the cargo vessel just off the coast of the United Arab Emirates but in international water, the official said.

The Iranian boats fired across the bow, and at that point the cargo vessel turned and escaped by entering into UAE territorial waters, according to initial U.S. military reports of the incident. The UAE sent three of its coast guard boats out to the cargo vessel.

The incident began with the Iranians ordering the ship into Iranian waters. When the ships master refused, the Iranians began to fire in a way to try to disable the ship, not just as warning shots, the U.S. official said.

Several shots hit the cargo ship, but did not disable it. The ship went into UAE waters and the Iranians followed it into those territorial waters, continuing to fire, before breaking off. Continue reading

Iran threatens war if ‘aid ship’ to Yemen attacked

Tehran says vessel, escorted by warships, contains 2,500 tons of humanitarian supplies; US warns against ‘provocative actions’

Iran threatened to declare war on any country that attacks a ship it says contains humanitarian aid currently making its way to Yemen, accompanied by warships. The warning came amid heightened tensions after the Islamic Republic seized a cargo ship last month.

Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier-General Massoud Jazzayeri warned that any attack on “the Iranian Red Crescent aid ship will spark war in the region. And this fire may not be put out or brought under control.” Continue reading

Iran shipping incidents in Strait of Hormuz are only latest belligerent acts since nuclear talks began

Earlier this week, Iranian forces seized a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship, the Maersk Tigris, while it was traversing the Strait of Hormuz.

Iranian forces boarded the ship after firing warning shots across its bridge and diverted it to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Iranian officials have not explained why the ship was seized. Continue reading