Navy faces 'new normal' in Persian Gulf: more Iran provocations
Stars and Stripes | .
published: August 29, 2016
WASHINGTON — U.S. sailors in the Persian Gulf can expect increased harassment by Iranian vessels as Iran’s hard-liners seek to bolster their position ahead of next year’s Iranian election and the U.S. is absorbed in its own electoral campaign.
Some analysts also believe the three incidents Tuesday and Wednesday, during which Iranian fast boats swarmed around U.S. warships in the northern Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz in the southern end, were to practice “swarm tactics” for attacking larger and better armed American vessels.
In one of the incidents, the USS Squall, a coastal patrol ship, fired shots in the water to warn the Iranians.
The latest incidents serve as a reminder that tensions remain high between the United States and Iran despite last year’s international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program and lift crippling international sanctions.