For the last couple of years of the Obama administration, the Iranian Navy, particularly the seaborne thuggery operated by the IRGC, went out of its way to harass U.S. Navy vessels operating in the Arabian Gulf:Starting in January, this began to happen: Iranian ships trying to interfere with U.S. Navy warships were scooted away by the use of warning shots.
Today the Wall Street Journal reports on a mysterious phenomenon:
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 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.
The officials said they hoped the respite would continue. “I hope it’s because we have messaged our readiness…and that it isn’t tolerable or how professional militaries operate,” Army Gen. Joseph Votel, who heads U.S. Central Command, told reporters traveling with him in the Middle East this week. Iranian officials didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The apologists for the Iranian regime and the members of Ben Rhodes’ Echo Chamber all say this is just Iran showing up Trump.
The Pentagon reports ZERO incidents with the Iranian navy in the Persian Gulf during the past several months. Thoughts on this data-point as part of a broader pattern [thread/1]
— Ali Vaez (@AliVaez) January 25, 2018
Iran IRGC stopped harassing US boats in Persian Gulf last year following order by Tehran security body led by Rouhani. Likely to avoid provoking Trump, but also to depict Iran as adult in room. https://t.co/ObkQoAgWj5
— Borzou Daragahi 🖊🗒 (@borzou) January 25, 2018
No, no mystery at all. Started around time of JCPOA. Yet another side benefit. Secondly, as Trump burns bridges with EU and others, Iran has decided not to stand in his way. If Trump wants to be the bad guy, Iran appears happy to play the good guy.https://t.co/HMBrt2819y
— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) January 25, 2018
Notice the nearly identical rational given by two members of the echo chamber (top) and a paid-for Iranian stooge.
Though I don’t have a lot of use for Bret Stephens, I think this is right. We’ll see what happens after the U.S. doesn’t certify the JCPOA in May.