Pentagon: No US citizens aboard cargo ship at which Iran fired shots

Iranian navy ship.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

After gunshots and a distress call, ship “confiscated” by Iran in Gulf.

Moving Towards Ezekiel 38-39

“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:”
—Ezekiel 38:2-5

ITD Editor's Note about the words: Gog, Magog and Persia

Many Bible teachers believe that Gog is the leader of the Russia alliance in the latter days.
Many Bible teachers believe that Magog, the descendant of Japheth, is identified as the Russian coalition in the latter days.
Persia in concert with Adolf Hitler, changed its name to Iran (Aryan Land) in May of 1935.
Russia the leader, of a coalition which is made up of Iran, Syria, Hosbollah and Hamas.
Three of that four have vowed to destroy Israel.
Russia is the supplier of the weapons that all in coalition use as they press towards their objective, Israel.

WASHINGTON — Iranian naval forces shot at, boarded and confiscated a commercial vessel transiting the Straits of Hormuz on Tuesday.

The 65,000-tonne container ship, named the MV Maersk Tigris, was flying a Marshall Islands flag and is operated by Rickmers Shipmanagement, a Singaporean company. The ship had departed from the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah and was bound for the United Arab Emirates.

According to Iranian state-run media, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized the ship under court order. “Legal reasons” were immediately given for the action, which the Pentagon called “provocative” several hours after the incident.

The Maersk Tigris initially ignored Iranian patrol boats that had ordered it deeper into Iranian territorial waters, but complied after the vessels fired several warning shots, US Army Colonel Steve Warren said. US forces in the region responded to its distress calls by sending the USS Farragut, a destroyer, to monitor the situation along with reconnaissance aircraft. The ship, which is currently in Iranian custody, is not carrying any US citizens, Warren added. Iranian media claimed the ship was American, sailing under a false flag, while noting that its 34 crew members were mostly European.

The US has a compact with the Marshall Islands, formally known as the Compact of Free Association, which allows the US to use Marshall Islands land for military purposes in exchange for a US commitment to the defense of its assets.

The State Department said the ship was traversing an “internationally recognized maritime route,” though it was not immediately clear if that route was in international or Iranian waters.

The Obama administration has had several close-calls with the Iranian at sea. The US last publicly threatened to board and inspect ships carrying Iranian arms in 2014, when a vessel under a Panama flag was sailing toward Gaza. Israel volunteered to board the ship, instead, and arrested its crew. In 2011 and 2012, US President Barack Obama also sent two aircraft carriers through the Straits of Hormuz and into the Arabian Sea in response to threats from Tehran to close the strait, one of the most important waterways in the world for the flow of oil.

Some 17 million barrels per day (bpd), or about 30 percent of all seaborne-traded oil, passed through the Straits of Hormuz in 2013, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). And just last week, the president directed the USS Theodore Roosevelt to the Gulf of Aden to “ensure the freedom of navigation” through its strait, US officials said, as Iranian ships approached Yemen’s shores.

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in New York to continue negotiations towards a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear work.

The two utilized Zarif’s old residence, the residence of the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, for the meeting, marking the first time a US statesman has entered an Iranian facility since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

“We are, in fact, closer than ever to the good, comprehensive deal that we have been seeking, and if we can get there, the entire world will be safer,” Kerry said on Tuesday to a conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which brought both Kerry and Zarif to New York.

Negotiations between the two nations, alongside Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, seek to end a decades-long conflict over the scope and nature of Iran’s nuclear program. They seek a comprehensive deal by June 30.

Asked whether the US believed Iran’s actions on the Maersk Tigris were related to the nuclear talks, a State Department spokesman declined to speculate. The US is committed to ensuring freedom of navigation in the strait, he added.

Reuters contributed to this report.

  1. Dale Langmade, 30 April, 2015

    I would think it only natural that once we have tacitly agreed that Iran can have the bomb that they would be embolden militarily.

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