For the record
The small, boxlike objects dropped in the water by Iranian boats as they approached U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf on Sunday posed no threat to the American vessels, U.S. officials said yesterday, even as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff charged that the incident reflects Iran's new tactics of asymmetric warfare.
After passing the white objects, commanders on the USS Port Royal and its accompanying destroyer and frigate decided there was so little danger from the objects that they did not bother to radio other ships to warn them, the officials said.
At least now a more complete picture of what happened one week ago in the Strait of Hormuz has developed. The Iranian speedboats maneuvered aggressively, dropped white boxes in the water, and a menacing threat was heard over the radio, so the initial alarmed reaction of Naval commanders was certainly reasonable. But commanders apparently quickly determined that the boxes weren't mines or any other kind of threat, and the radio transmission likely came from a prankster
. And it took a week for that to become clear.