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Dan Gilmore / April 28, 2015

Iran Flexes Naval Might by Seizing Cargo Ship

Iran’s Navy boarded and took control of a cargo vessel flying the flag of the Marshall Islands in the Strait of Hormuz, according to Iranian media reports this morning. The situation is still murky, but it is clear the ship is not American, as some news outlets initially claimed. Furthermore, the Pentagon asserts there are no U.S. citizens aboard. According to The Washington Times, five Iranian patrol boats approached the ship, fired shots across its bow and ordered it into Iran’s territorial water. Iranians say the ship was trespassing. Now, the U.S. destroyer Farragut is steaming to the area, to monitor the situation. As Noah Rothman tweeted, at issue is the United States’ resolve to keep the shipping lanes clear. The Obama administration must think this comes at an inopportune time. It was just about to strike a nuclear deal with Iran and then this happens. More…

Update: According to Reuters, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said, “At first appearance it does seem to be provocative behavior, but again we don’t have all the facts yet.”

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