World War 3: Iran and the USA Clash
USS Thunderbolt opened fire only after it tried to warn off the Iranians over the radio, by firing flares, and blowing five short blasts from its whistle, the officials said. The warning shots were fired into the water, out of concerns of a possible collision.
The Iranian ship had approached to within 150 yards (137 meters), but “ceased its provocative actions” after the warning shots, US officials added. The vessel stayed in the area, which was described as being in “international waters in the northern Arabian Gulf,” the Pentagon’s preferred term for the Persian Gulf.
The Thunderbolt is a Cyclone-class patrol ship, operating out of the US Fifth Fleet base in Bahrain. It has a crew of four officers and 24 sailors. US officials did not specify the size or type of the Iranian vessel, only speculated that it may have been operated by the naval branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
In January 2016, IRGC vessels intercepted and captured two US fast-assault boats that had strayed into Iranian waters near Farsi Island. The two crews, nine men and a woman, were briefly detained on Farsi Island. The boats and the crews were released unharmed after about 15 hours.
The boats had been on their way from Kuwait to Bahrain and experienced engine trouble, according to the US Navy. The Iranian inquiry later concluded that the boats’ trespass was “not the result of a purposeful act.”
Hostility between the US and Iran date back to the 1979 Islamic revolution, which overthrew the US-backed monarchy in Tehran.
World War 3 Warnings
The US has to move its bases 1,000km away from Iran’s borders if it plans to keep sanctions in place against Tehran, or risk paying a price, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said
“In case the US wants to insist on pursuing sanctions against Iran’s defense sector and the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards], it needs to first dismantle its regional bases within a range of 1,000km around Iranian borders,” Tasnim news agency quoted the commander as saying.
“Washington should be aware that it will pay dearly for any miscalculations,” he went on to say.
Jafari said that Iranian missile capabilities are “rapidly growing,” creating an effective deterrent against any threats, the agency reports. He added that the Islamic Republic’s missile program is by no means “bargainable or negotiable.”
His comments come a day after the US Department of the Treasury imposed a new set of sanctions against 16 entities and individuals it accused of providing material support to the Iranian military and its missile program.
“We have no intention of adjusting our posture as a result of these statements.
The Department of Defense will carry out its mission to protect the American people and defeat threats to the United States and our allies,” the DOD told RT by email when asked how it would respond to Jafari’s assertions.
Earlier, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, also warned the US authorities of the “big risks” they face by imposing sanctions against the IRGC.
“Drawing an analogy between the IRGC and terrorist groups and imposing the same sanctions (used against terrorists) on the IRGC would be a big risk to the US and its bases and forces stationed in the region,” he said on Monday.
He also said that the Iranian missile program “is defensive and never would be subject to bargaining and negotiation at any level.” The major general also called on the US to be more “cautious” and “think deeper” about its decisions relating to the anti-Iranian sanctions.
At the same time, he said that any fresh round of sanctions would be just an “opportunity” for Iran’s progress, Tasnim reports.
In the meantime, another Iranian high-ranking commander, the deputy chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, accused the US of double standards and outright deception by claiming that Tehran supports terrorists in Syria.
“The US behavior in Iraq and Syria is a perfect example of contradictions and blatant deception because it (the US) supports terrorists on the one hand and forms anti-terrorism coalitions on the other,” he said on Wednesday, as reported by Tasnim.