President Donald Trump announced in a tweet Thursday morning that he has “instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.”
I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2020
The order came after recent Iranian aggression against U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf. The U.S Navy’s 5th fleet reported that six Navy warships were conducting drills with U.S. Army Apache attack helicopters in international waters off the Iranian coast last Wednesday when they were repeatedly harassed by 11 Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Navy ships. The 5th Fleet added that the Iranian ships repeatedly crisscrossed the U.S. vessels at extremely close range and high speeds, coming within ten yards at one point.
— U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) April 15, 2020
The Navy statement said that Iran’s dangerous and provocative actions “increased the risk of miscalculation and collision” and that they violated international maritime “rules of the road.”
Furthermore, on April 1, President Trump revealed on Twitter that he received information that Iran was “planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq.”
The Iranian regime has been hostile towards the U.S. since the Islamic Revolution in the late 1970’s.