Trump instructs U.S. Navy to destroy Iranian gunboats 'if they harass our ships at sea'
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. While the Navy has the authority to act in self-defense, Trump’s comments appeared to go further and are likely to stoke tensions between Iran and the United States. “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.
The United States should focus on saving its military from the coronavirus, an Iranian armed forces spokesman said on Wednesday after Trump’s comments. 22 April 2020