President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had instructed the U.S. Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass it at sea, a week after 11 vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to American ships in the Gulf.
Close interactions with Iranian military vessels were not uncommon in 2016 and 2017. On several occasions, U.S. Navy ships fired warning shots at Iranian vessels when they got too close.
“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump wrote in a tweet, hours after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps said it had launched the country’s first military satellite into orbit.
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