Coast Guard fires on Iranian boat

U.S. Coast Guard personnel fired in self-defense on an Iranian boat in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, the Navy said Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

The Coast Guard members fired a single shot at the Iranian boat after U.S. personnel saw the Iranian crew training one of their two .50-caliber machine guns on the Americans and preparing to fire.

"This action by the dhow's crew demonstrated hostile intent which resulted in the defensive fire by the Coast Guardsmen," said Commander Kevin Stephens, spokesman for the Navy’s 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, according to The Associated Press


The Iranian boat was a dhow, a traditional wooden boat normally used for trading purposes.

The Coast Guard vessel was operating on a “routine maritime security operation” when it contacted the Iranian boat, reports said. After the U.S. made initial contact, the Iranian boat stopped communicating and that’s when the Coast Guard dispatched a small boat to investigate. 

No U.S. personnel were wounded during the operation and Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said it was unclear whether the Iranian boat was struck, according to CNN

The encounter comes as the U.S. and other world leaders aim to strike a final nuclear agreement with Iran by a November deadline. Negotiators extended the deadline by four months in July after they failed to reach a permanent deal.