Monday, January 07, 2008

Bicycles Shouldn't Play Chicken With Semis

WASHINGTON - Iranian boats harassed and provoked three American Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, threatening to blow up the vessels, U.S. officials said Monday.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Monday the confrontation was “something normal” and was resolved, suggesting the Iranian boats had not recognized the U.S. vessels. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the Bush administration urges Iranians “to refrain from such provocative actions that could lead to a dangerous incident in the future.”

Military officials told NBC News that two U.S. Navy destroyers and one frigate were heading into the Persian Gulf through the international waters of the Strait of Hormuz when five armed "fast boats" of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard approached at high speed, darting in and out of the formation.
One of the boats reportedly approached within 200 yards, and was likely within seconds of being destroyed.

The big question: were the boat captains acting on behalf of Iran, or did they do this on their own? Overzealousness is one of the risks Ahmadinejad and the mullahs run by using fear of Americans to shore up their support.