Recently, however, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, “The Iranian military has halted the routine harassment by its armed ‘fast boats’ of U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. military said, a turnabout that officials welcomed but were at a loss to explain.” The WSJ goes on to say, “The boats for at least two years would dart toward the U.S. vessels as they passed through the Persian Gulf, risking miscalculation, but haven’t done so for five months, U.S. military officials said.”
After two years of about 50 unsafe and/or unprofessional interactions, U.S. military officials are happy yet perplexed why Iran has ceased its routine harassment of Navy vessels using fast boats in the Persian Gulf.
“I hope it’s because we have messaged our readiness … and that it isn’t tolerable or how professional militaries operate,” said Army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command.
But it might not be a coincidence that five months ago, in September, President Trump began applying pressure to Iran. In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly he declared, among other things, that “Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.”
It was then that he began threatening to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. In a speech that lasted for just over 40 minutes, the US president, who was making his debut speech to the general assembly, railed against the countries he sees as enemies to the US, primarily Iran.
The lesson here appears to be that the Iranian Resistance is right — pressure works.
Antics such as harassing Navy vessels came from a sense of misplaced confidence. Under Trump it is unclear what the outcome of a confrontation will be. Iran isn’t sure of what might happen.
Iran is backing off, according to Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, and New York writer who focuses on radical Islam. He adds, “And, I suspect, Russia is doing fewer of those intercepts because despite the Democrats’ howls about collusion, the Russians are much less confident that they can push this administration around.”