US Navy Says Iran Revolutionary Guard Fast-Attack Boats ‘Harassed’ Ship in Strait of Hormuz

This still image taken from surveillance video from a US Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidon shows three Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast-attack vessels near a commercial ship in the Strait of Hormuz Sunday, June 4, 2023. (US Navy via AP)
This still image taken from surveillance video from a US Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidon shows three Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast-attack vessels near a commercial ship in the Strait of Hormuz Sunday, June 4, 2023. (US Navy via AP)
TT

US Navy Says Iran Revolutionary Guard Fast-Attack Boats ‘Harassed’ Ship in Strait of Hormuz

This still image taken from surveillance video from a US Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidon shows three Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast-attack vessels near a commercial ship in the Strait of Hormuz Sunday, June 4, 2023. (US Navy via AP)
This still image taken from surveillance video from a US Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidon shows three Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast-attack vessels near a commercial ship in the Strait of Hormuz Sunday, June 4, 2023. (US Navy via AP)

The US Navy said Monday its sailors and the United Kingdom Royal Navy came to the aid of a ship in the crucial Strait of Hormuz after Iran's Revolutionary Guard “harassed” it.

Three fast-attack Guard vessels with armed troops aboard approached the merchant ship at a close distance Sunday afternoon, the US Navy said in a statement. It offered black-and-white images it said came from a US Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidon overhead, which showed three small ships close to the commercial ship.

The US Navy's guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul and the Royal Navy's frigate HMS Lancaster responded to the incident, with the Lancaster launching a helicopter.

“The situation deescalated approximately an hour later when the merchant vessel confirmed the fast-attack craft departed the scene,” the Navy said. “The merchant ship continued transiting the Strait of Hormuz without further incident.”

The Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Arabian Gulf, sees 20% of the world's oil pass through it.

While the Navy did not identify the vessel involved, ship-tracking data from MarineTraffic.com analyzed by The Associated Press showed the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Venture erratically changed course as it traveled through the strait at the time of the incident. Its location also matched information about the incident given by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a British military operation overseeing traffic in the region. The vessel also resembled the images released by the Navy.

The ship's registered manager, Trust Bulkers of Athens, Greece, did not respond to a request for comment.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency later quoted Guard Rear Adm. Abbas Gholamshahi claiming that his vessels simply responded to the distress signal from the ship. However, the signal came because armed men were seen aboard the small vessels identified by the Navy as belonging to the Guard.

This latest incident comes after a series of maritime incidents involving Iran following the US unilaterally withdrawing from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.



Trump Mocks Democrats in First Campaign Rally after Assassination Attempt

Donald Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 20, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner Purchase Licensing Rights
Donald Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 20, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner Purchase Licensing Rights
TT

Trump Mocks Democrats in First Campaign Rally after Assassination Attempt

Donald Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 20, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner Purchase Licensing Rights
Donald Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 20, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner Purchase Licensing Rights

Donald Trump held his first campaign rally on Saturday since he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt one week ago, poking fun at Democrats in turmoil at a heavily secured indoor arena in the election battleground state of Michigan, Reuters reported.

Fresh from his nominating convention where his takeover of the Republican Party was cemented, Trump appeared in Grand Rapids with his new vice presidential pick, Senator J.D. Vance from Ohio. They took the stage in their first campaign event together with the Republican Party unified behind them.

In contrast, it is no longer certain that President Joe Biden will be the Democratic Party's nominee facing Trump in the Nov. 5 election.

Biden has faced calls from some senior Democrats to end his re-election bid after his poor debate performance last month raised concerns over whether he could beat Trump or complete another four-year term.

Trump mocked Democrats, saying they wanted to kick Biden off the ticket after he won their presidential nominating contest.

"They have a couple of problems. No. 1, they have no idea who their candidate is," Trump said to laughter and jeers. "This guy goes and he gets the votes and now they want to take it away."

"As you're seeing, the Democrat Party is not the party of democracy. They're really the enemies of democracy."

He added: "And they keep saying, 'He's a threat to democracy.' I'm saying, 'What the hell did I do for democracy?'

Last week, I took a bullet for democracy."

Opinion polls show a tight race between the two men at a national level but Biden trailing Trump in the battleground states that will likely determine the winner.

Many Democrats fear he may not have a realistic path to victory and that the party needs a new candidate to take on Trump.

There was a heavy police presence at Trump's rally in Grand Rapids on Saturday, with police on every street corner for several blocks.

US Secret Service officers were positioned on the top balconies in the Van Andel Arena, giving them a bird's eye view of the crowd inside.

Bag searches for those entering the indoor arena earlier in the day were long and thorough, and the Secret Service sweep of the building took about an hour longer than usual.

The rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, last weekend was outdoors. At that event, the gunman was able to scale the roof of a building outside the Secret Service perimeter before opening fire on Trump, clipping his ear, killing a rally-goer and wounding several others.

The Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting Trump, declined to comment on security for the Grand Rapids event. An investigation is under way into the security failures at the Butler rally.

Trump gave a detailed account of his narrow brush with death in his convention speech on Thursday, telling the audience that he was only talking to them "by the grace of Almighty God."

Trump's former physician, Ronny Jackson, said on Saturday that the former president is recovering as expected from the gunshot wound to his right ear, but noted intermittent bleeding and said Trump may require a hearing exam.

The bullet fired by the would-be assassin at the July 13 rally in Pennsylvania came "less than a quarter of an inch from entering his head," said Jackson, a Republican congressman from Texas who had served as physician to Presidents Trump and Barack Obama.