US Navy: Iranians Were Heartbeat Away From Being Blown Up
The standoff between three U.S. Navy ships and five Iranian speedboats in the Strait of Hormuz Sunday was one step away from turning violent.
"They were a heartbeat from being blown up," a Pentagon official, speaking of the Iranians, told ABC News.
According to the Navy intelligence report on the incident, the Iranians radioed, "I am coming at you. You will blow up in a couple of minutes."
The Navy ships radioed back, presumably transmitting a warning. All three ships also engaged in "evasive action," and according to senior Pentagon officials, the "prepare-to-fire" order had been given and the gun stations manned.
Pentagon officials today expressed surprise the Navy ships allowed at least one of the Iranian speedboats to get so close -- just 200 yards away -- without firing.
They say at least one of those speedboats boasted a machine gun, and all were behaving as if they were packed with explosives.
A Navy official told ABC News that while there have been similar incidents in the Gulf, Sunday's differed because of the "aggressive actions" taken by the Iranians.
"I've never seen a provocation like this is in international waters," another military official who has served for more than 25 years said.
The White House seconded that notion.
"We urge the Iranians to refrain from such provocative actions that could lead to dangerous incidents in the future," White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said.
Published reports cite the Iranian Foreign Ministry as confirming the incident but calling it "ordinary."
"Yesterday the Revolutionary Guard demonstrated their capacity to act irresponsibly and, in my estimation, well out of the ordinary norms of what we would expect," Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff said in response to Iran's account of Sunday's incident. "So hopefully, they've learned from this that we're serious."
Defense Secretary Robert Gates agreed, calling the tense standoff "troubling and a matter of real concern." He added, "This is a very volatile area, and the risk of an incident and of an incident escalating is real. I can't imagine what was on their minds."
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Is Iran completely Insane? Speedboats trying to take on the US Navy? What the hell are they thinking? I wonder if they know how close they were to being a target. Iran is just trying to provoke a War. I'm shocked those loons werent blasted out of the water. Watch these Lunatics on the Pentagon Video up above.
U.S. Formally Protests Iranian Harassment Of Ships In Persian Gulf