Iran’s military has reportedly stopped harassing United States naval vessels with their fast boats in the Persian Gulf for the last five months, leaving American military observers with little explanation for why.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, who heads U.S. Central Command, said he hopes the respite is “because we have messaged our readiness … and that it isn’t tolerable or how professional militaries operate.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that these fast Iranian boats are typically armed with .50 caliber machine guns and rocket launchers.
In January 2016, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized two American Riverine Command Boats (RCBs), U.S. Navy vessels, while they were navigating near Iran’s Farsi Island. The personnel detained the U.S. ships and ten American sailors with it.
The IRGC maintains a military base on Farsi Island.
“A post-recovery inventory of the boats found that all weapons, ammunition and communication gear are accounted for minus two SIM cards that appear to have been removed from two handheld satellite phones,” CENTCOM reported.
In September of that same year, Breitbart News reported, “Seven fast-attack Iranian military vessels engaged in yet another provocative confrontation with the U.S vessel the USS Firebolt over the weekend, resulting in one Iranian boat coming to a halt in front of the U.S. coastal patrol ship.”
One week before the September incident, Fox News obtained data from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) which indicated that the U.S. had encountered at least 30 dangerous interactions with Iran in 2016 alone, compared to 24 for the year 2015.