U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Removed Missile Threat From Some Boats – The New York Times


WASHINGTON — Iran has unloaded missiles from at least two small boats in its territorial waters in what two American officials said on Friday was a sign of easing tensions in the brewing confrontation between Washington and Tehran.

In recent days, American officials have described satellite photographs showing fully assembled missiles being loaded onto multiple boats in multiple Iranian ports. The pictures were cited as evidence for concern that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was targeting United States naval ships in the Persian Gulf and nearby waters.

Additional pieces of intelligence picked up threats against commercial shipping and potential attacks by Shiite militias with Iranian ties against American troops in Iraq, officials have said.

But over the past two days, Iranian forces removed the missiles from two of the boats, according to a Defense Department official and a congressional official. The boats, called dhows, had sailed between the Iranian ports of Jask and Chabahar in the Gulf of Oman, the officials said.


It is unclear how many other missile-laden Iranian vessels are sailing in Iranian waters.

But the unloading of the missiles on the two small boats, coupled with the unhindered passage through the strategically important Strait of Hormuz on Thursday of two Navy destroyers, the U.S.S. McFaul and the U.S.S. Gonzalez, prompted some officials to claim that a recent show of United States firepower may have deterred the threat of Iranian attacks on American forces.

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