PortandTerminal.com, April 22, 2020
The president’s threat to Iran has already had almost 300 thousand likes in 6 hours from his huge fan base on Twitter, a fact that will not go unnoticed by the famously media-savvy Trump.
WASHINGTON – 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 fast boats from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to American ships in the Gulf.
“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.
Iran sent small boats, known as “fast boats,” toward the American warships, with one coming as close as 10 yards, according to the Navy, which released a video. The Pentagon accused Iran of sending 11 fast boats to make “dangerous and harassing approaches” to six American warships.
“The IRGCN vessels repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns of the U.S. vessels at extremely close range and high speeds,” and came within 10 yards of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Maui reported an official.
Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to reporters at the Pentagon shortly after Trump tweeted. Hyten said he “liked that the president warned an adversary.”
“If we see a hostile act, if we see hostile intent, we have the right to respond up to and including lethal force, and if it happens in the Gulf, if it happens in any way, we will respond with overwhelming lethal force if necessary to defend ourselves,” Hyten added.
What comes next?
Trump’s threat to destroy Iranian boats harassing U.S. ships is likely to exacerbate tensions with Tehran, which have run high throughout the Trump administration.
Asked about Trump’s tweet at a briefing later Wednesday morning, top Pentagon officials suggested it represented a warning to Tehran rather than a new order to the military.
The president’s tweet has already had nearly 300 thousand likes in just 6 hours from his huge fan base on Twitter.
For perspective, at about the same time that the president issued the threat to Iran, he sent out a second tweet about celebrating the reopening of the country. “States are safely coming back. Our Country is starting to OPEN FOR BUSINESS again” he said to a country weary of lockdowns, infection and death.
The fact that the president’s warlike posture on Iran delivered almost 70% greater enthusiasm (likes) than his optimistic “Open for Business” message will not go unnoticed by the famously media-savvy Trump.
We’re going to be hearing a lot more tough talk on Iran in the coming days.
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