US Releases Dramatic Video of Iran Boat Incident

The U.S.-released video showing Iran gunboats appraoching war ships.

ByABC News
January 9, 2008, 9:17 AM

Jan. 8, 2008— -- The U.S. Navy released dramatic video and audio of this weekend's stand-off with Iran. The video shows Iranian speedboats swarming around three American warships going through the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz.

At the chilling culmination of the tape, a voice can be heard over the radio, apparently from the Iranians, saying, "I am coming at you. You will explode after a few minutes."

On the tape, the crew of the destroyer USS Hopper can be heard repeatedly warning the Iranian boats to identify themselves and move away.

"I am engaged in transit passage in accordance with international law," a sailor on the bridge of the USS Hopper says. "I intend no harm."

As the Iranian boats get closer, the USS Hopper sounds its horns.

"You are approaching coalition warships," the USS Hopper's crew warns. "You are straying into danger and may be subject to defensive measures. ... Request you alter course immediately to remain clear."

It is at that point that a heavily accented voice can be heard over the radio, apparently coming from the Iranians.

"I am coming to you," the voice says. "You will explode after a few minutes."

An American voice can be then heard repeating the words, incredulously, "You will explode in a few minutes."

The video shows the Iranian speedboats getting so close they are inside the wake of the American warships. Senior defense officials told ABC News the USS Hopper's gunners were within seconds of firing on the Iranians' boats when they suddenly backed off.

At the White House today, President Bush was asked about the incident.

"We viewed it as a provocative act. It is a dangerous situation. And they should not have done it, pure and simple," the president said. "And my message today, to the Iranians, is they shouldn't have done what they did."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry, however, called the incident "ordinary" and denied using threatening language.