US Navy Forced to Fire Warning Shots at Iranian Military for First Time in Years


Jordan Sekulow

April 28, 2021

4 min read

Middle East



For the first time in four years, the U.S. had to fire warning shots at Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels.

The situation in the Persian Gulf has been escalating under President Biden’s watch. As we told you, the Iranian military has been harassing the U.S. Navy for weeks. The U.S. Navy finally had enough. They sent a message yesterday to the Iranian navy by firing warning shots, essentially to communicate that if the Iranians continue with this kind of behavior, there will be consequences. After the warning shots, the Iranian boats wisely moved away to a safe distance from the U.S. vessels.

It was not until the Iranians got within 68 yards of U.S. naval vessels and multiple warnings were given that the U.S. Navy resorted to firing shots. The U.S. Navy issued multiple radio warnings and loud hailer devices before firing, but the Iranian ships ignored every warning, and continued the harassment. This is a violation of international law. The only option after the warning shots would have been to fire at the vessel. Fortunately, this time, the situation didn’t get that far.

So far under President Biden we have seen an altercation last week, and now firing weapons this week, all while his Administration is actively trying to reenter the Iran Nuclear deal.

Former Secretary of State and now U.S. Special Envoy for Climate under the Biden Administration, John Kerry, met with Iran during the Trump years. When you have actors like him on the National Security Council, enemies will take advantage of this. These attacks on American ships are a direct reflection of how the Iranians view our weak leadership under President Biden. It is sad to see the Biden Administration willing to make a deal and allow Iran to gain a nuclear weapon, even as they continue to harass U.S. warships.

ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy and former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell called out the hypocrisy of the Department of Justice:

It boils down to John Kerry trusted the Iranians, when it has been proven to not trust them. This is not the first time. There is lots of evidence that John Kerry has been doing this undercutting of U.S. policy since he’s been out of office. It’s outrageous. If any Trump official did this now, they would be hauled in by the Department of Justice. Here is my reaction: Where is the Department of Justice?

ACLJ Senior Counsel for Global Affairs Mike Pompeo shared how he dealt with the Iranians during his time as Secretary of State under the Trump Administration:

It’s unfortunate because you can see what we have been saying that weakness beacons war and that peace comes from strong deterrence, has already start to manifest. Iranians are clearly testing this Administration. They did the same thing to us. We responded by making clear to the Iranians that it was unacceptable to put their ships and weaponry anywhere that would put our marines, our sailors, and our soldiers at risk. We communicated that very clear to them; and they responded saying we hear you and their actions on the ground demonstrated that as well. It’s unfortunate that already this Administration has shown sufficient weakness. Even while they are negotiating in Vienna, they are sending coast guard cutters to challenge our and threaten our ships. I hope this Administration can right this – you are not going to attack an American sailor and put their lives in harm’s way.

ACLJ Director of Policy, Harry Hutchison summed it up best:

The enemies knew one thing. There is a new sheriff in office. Now, American enemies realize a brand-new thing – there is a new social worker in the oval office. Essentially, the Biden Administration is encouraging Iranian aggression, Iranian terror, Iranian threats on American ships. It’s really sad to note that members of the American State Department are negotiating with the Iranians. They are sitting in cafes sipping espresso, while American ships are being threatened. And this is simply a self-inflicted wound that places American soldiers in harm’s way.

The ACLJ is fighting to get to the bottom of the reasons behind why John Kerry conducted secret meetings with Iran and why the Biden Administration is set on reentering the Iran nuclear deal. The United States and the world must take a hard look at Iran and realize they cannot be trusted. The threat from Iran is real, as evidenced by their own actions.

Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of details surrounding the U.S. firing warning shots at the Iranian military and more insight from ACLJ team members Mike Pompeo and Ric Grenell.

Watch the full broadcast below.