View Full Version : Navy-Contracted Vessel Fires Warning Shots On Iranian Boats, Iran Denies

04-25-2008, 01:58 PM
Navy-Contracted Vessel Fires Warning Shots on Iranian Boats


Posted: April 25, 2008 11:10 AM EDT

A vessel contracted by the Navy in the Persian Gulf fired warning shots Thursday on two Iranian fast boats, FOX News has learned.

The Westward Venture, a ship contracted by the U.S. Military Sealift Command to carry military cargo to Kuwait, fired upon the boats Thursday after attempts to get Iranian boats' attention failed.

A Navy security team, armed with M16 rifles and .50-caliber machine guns, was onboard at the time the warning shots were fired.

The ship was about 50 miles off the coast of Iran when the fast boats approached. The Westward Venture attempted to make bridge-to-bridge contact to warn the fast boats that they were too close.

The Military Sealift Command vessel then blew its whistle and fired flares before finally firing warning shots with the machine gun when the boats came within 100 yards of the vessel.

Bridge-to-bridge communication was established after the shots were fired, with someone claiming to be the Iranian Coast Guard contacting the Westward Venture.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard is suspected of being involved in this incident, officials told FOX News.

Defense officials said that typically the guard behaves in a very unprofessional and aggressive manner, using unmarked boats and uniforms, unlike the Iranian Navy.

Iran says no confrontation with U.S. in Gulf - reports


Source: Reuters
25 Apr 2008 17:31:06 GMT

TEHRAN, April 25 (Reuters) - Iran on Friday denied there had been any confrontation between its forces and a U.S. ship in the Gulf, Iranian media reported, after a U.S. official said a ship contracted by the U.S Military Sealift Command fired on an Iranian vessel.

Some media suggested that, if there had been an incident, it may have involved a private boat that could have been Iranian.

"There has been no confrontation between Iranian boats and U.S. military vessels in the Persian Gulf," the state-owned English-language satellite channel Press TV reported on its website, citing a source in Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Other Iranian media echoed that report, including the official IRNA news agency and Iran's state-run Arabic-language channel Al-Alam.

"The (Guards) official said the (Guards') navy is committed to its duty to guard the coastal waters of the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea," Press TV said in a later broadcast report.

"He (the official) said Iranian coastguards are prepared to respond in the strongest manner to any possible attack from a U.S. or British vessel," Press TV added.

The Revolutionary Guards are an ideological arm of Iran's armed forces with a separate command structure to the regular military. One of their duties is guarding vital border areas.

"Even if there was a shooting ... American forces have likely shot at a non-military or fishing boat, and even then one cannot be certain that it was Iranian," Iran's Mehr News Agency reported.

A U.S. defence official earlier said a ship contracted by the U.S Military Sealift Command had fired at least one shot toward an Iranian boat.

Many Iranian and other small craft ply the waters between Iran and Gulf Arab states, many of them smuggling goods into the Islamic Republic. (Writing by Edmund Blair; editing by Sami Aboudi)