Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Trump authorises Navy to tackle Iran vessels

U.S. President Donald Trump displays a signed Presidential Memorandum after speaking during an announcement in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
U.S. President Donald Trump displays a signed Presidential Memorandum after speaking during an announcement in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

US President Donald Trump has given the US Navy to “shoot down and destroy” Iranian vessels “if they harass our ships at sea” in a tweet.

Tensions have been increasing in the Hormuz Straits in recent times, including the harassment of US naval ships.

On April 14, the Hong Kong-flagged SC Taipei was reportedly boarded while between Fujairah and the Iranian port of Bandar Jask.

The chemical tanker was in international waters when it was seized. It began heading towards the Iranian coast but was released fairly quickly and allowed to continue on its way.

The US Navy complained of 11 Iranian vessels carrying out “dangerous and harassing approaches” on a number of its ships on April 15. The US naval vessels were carrying out joint operations with Apache attack helicopters in “international waters of the North Arabian Gulf”.

Iranian vessels “repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns of the US vessels at extremely close range and high speeds”, including coming within 50 yards of the USS Lewis B. Puller and within 10 yards of the USCGC Maui’s bow.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) carried out these manoeuvres for around an hour, the US Navy said, before backing off to a more appropriate distance.

US forces have been carrying out joint operations in the area since late March. The statement said its commanding officers retained the right to act in self defence – but Trump’s tweet adds more weight to the situation.

Trump has warned of conflict with Iran in the past. On April 1, the president in a tweet said “Iran or its proxies” were working on a planned attack on US troops in Iraq. “If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!”

Dryad Global said Trump’s message increased the “risk of miscalculation in the region”. The medium removes “vital nuance” from the discussion and avoids defining harassment in this context.

“Dryad Global assesses, and indeed hopes, that the ambiguity is deliberately aimed at creating a sense of unpredictability thus forcing Iranian forces to hesitate in their interactions with US vessels in the Persian Gulf,” it said.

Iran is likely to stage a number of incidents in the critical waterway this summer, Dryad continued, but “risks on both side are great”.

Updated at 5:19 pm with Dryad Global comment. 

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts