Iran’s Revolutionary Guards “harassed” a US-flagged commercial ship last week in the Gulf, days before seizing control of another cargo vessel in the Strait of Hormuz, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
The two incidents over a five-day period raised concerns about the security of shipping lanes in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, spokesman Colonel Steven Warren told reporters. Continue reading
So far, nothing terribly unusual. The IRGCN, assigned to patrol the Gulf, routinely sends boats to shadow — some call it “harass” — vessels of other nationalities as they transit the strait. Just three days ago, CNN reported, four IRGCN boats surrounded the U.S.-flagged Maersk Kensington in the Strait of Hormuz and followed it closely for some time. The U.S. Fifth Fleet subsequently issued a notice to mariners.What happened next to the MV Maersk Tigris, however, was quite out of the ordinary.
“The master was contacted and directed to proceed further into Iranian territorial waters,” said Warren. “He declined and one of the IRGCN craft fired shots across the bridge of the Maersk Tigris. The master complied with the Iranian demand and proceeded into Iranian waters in the vicinity of Larak Island.” Continue reading