When did the U.S. navy become the Iranian Coast Guard?

It’s great to hear that a U.S. Navy missile destroyer was able to assist the crew of a sinking Iranian fishing vessel in the Gulf of Oman today, but it should be said that this seems to be happening an awful lot lately. On January 5, a U.S. destroyer rescued 13 Iranian commercial sailors who ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
U.S. Navy via Getty Images
U.S. Navy via Getty Images
U.S. Navy via Getty Images

It's great to hear that a U.S. Navy missile destroyer was able to assist the crew of a sinking Iranian fishing vessel in the Gulf of Oman today, but it should be said that this seems to be happening an awful lot lately.

On January 5, a U.S. destroyer rescued 13 Iranian commercial sailors who had been taken hostage by Somali pirates in the Northern Arabian Sea. On January 10, a U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat pulled a foundering Iranian cargo ship to safety. 

I know Iranian officials have warned U.S. vessels to stay out of their waters, even threatening to close down the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation. But it appears that by keeping military tensions in the region high, Tehran basically has the world's most powerful Navy serving as its own free Coast Guard. Not a bad deal.

It’s great to hear that a U.S. Navy missile destroyer was able to assist the crew of a sinking Iranian fishing vessel in the Gulf of Oman today, but it should be said that this seems to be happening an awful lot lately.

On January 5, a U.S. destroyer rescued 13 Iranian commercial sailors who had been taken hostage by Somali pirates in the Northern Arabian Sea. On January 10, a U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat pulled a foundering Iranian cargo ship to safety. 

I know Iranian officials have warned U.S. vessels to stay out of their waters, even threatening to close down the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation. But it appears that by keeping military tensions in the region high, Tehran basically has the world’s most powerful Navy serving as its own free Coast Guard. Not a bad deal.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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