President Bush called a threat by Iranian high-speed boats to blow up a U.S. Navy convoy in international waters a “provocative act.”
The Navy ships were near, but outside, Iranian waters Monday. The five Iranian boats retreated as the American ships were preparing to fire on them.
“It was a dangerous situation,” Bush told a White House news conference Tuesday. “They should not have done it, clear and simple. I don’t know what their thinking was, but I’m telling you what my thinking was. I think it was a provocative act. “
The Navy has video and audio recordings of the incident, and plans to release them to show that the incident was not routine.
Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, the top U.S. Navy commander in the area, told The Associated Press that the American ships near the Strait of Hormuz were clearly marked and could be seen easily since the incident took place during the day.
The confrontation occurred as Bush prepared to leave on an official visit to the Middle East, where he will talk about countering Iranian influence with the regional powers.