Iran Reportedly Seized U.S. Cargo Ship After Firing Warning Shots – Pentagon Responds To Situation

As of now, Americans are divided when it comes to the relationship the United States Government – specifically the Obama Administration – has with Iran. Of course, such contrasting views are divided among Democrats and Republicans. For the former, they are in support of establishing Iran’s Nuclear Deal, something Iranians recognized by celebrating in the streets. For the latter, they believe such a deal threatens Israel, in which Benjamin Netanyahu pleaded his case that Iran’s Nuclear Deal is an international security threat.

However, the latest news pertaining to the U.S. and Iran may cause a dent in the relationship the Obama Administration has with Iran. Apparently, a U.S. cargo ship was seized by an Iranian patrol after warning shots were fired.

According to the Associated Press, Iranian forces in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) fired warning shots across the bridge of the Maersk Tigris, a U.S. cargo ship, as it traversed the Strait of Hormuz. Eventually, said Iranian forces would board the ship and direct it towards the Iranian mainland. In response, the U.S. Navy dispatched both a maritime patrol destroyer and a reconnaissance aircraft to observe and monitor the situation.

However, CNN states the cargo ship isn’t from the U.S. exactly but that it is U.S.-flagged because the Maersk Tigris is part of the U.S. subsidiary of Maersk Line Limited. Not only that, the Maersk Tigris is specifically from the Marshall Islands, a country that has a security compact with the United States on defense issues.

Eventually, the Pentagon would issue a statement on the situation through their spokesman, Steve Warren, as reported by USA Today. Along with the aforementioned details provided above, Warren included specifics of the incident too.

“The master was contacted and directed to proceed further into Iranian territorial waters. He declined and one of the IRGCN craft fired shots across the bridge of the Maersk Tigris. The master complied with the Iranian demand and proceeded into Iranian waters in the vicinity of Larak Island.”

Because of the shots fired at it, the Maersk Tigris did issue a distress call that was picked up by U.S. forces in the area. The USS Farragut was ordered to head towards the incident because the closest U.S. warship was 60 miles away.

In conclusion, it is expected for the Maersk Tigris to be released to continue on its way, especially given the fact the ship was reportedly in international waters, diverted from the Iranian Navy.

It is also believed Iran will release the Maersk Tigris so as not to have the situation affect ongoing talks over Iran’s nuclear program. Still, the news pertaining to the U.S.-flagged cargo ship is ongoing and any new information will be reported as soon as it’s available.

[Image via Justin Sullivan/Getty]