A U.S. Navy patrol boat fired warning shots at an Iranian military ship in the Persian Gulf (Washington Post). The unidentified IRGC vessel came within 150 yards (137 m) of the U.S.S. Thunderbolt and ignored radio calls and the ship’s whistle. The Iranian ship stopped after the warning shots. In January, the U.S.S. Mahan destroyer fired three warning shots at approaching Iranian fast-attack vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
The IRGC detained a Saudi fishing boat and arrested its Indian crew, after it crossed Iranian territorial waters (Reuters). This is the second time in the past month that a Riyadh boat and its crew were detained. Similarly, Iranian state media reported last month that Saudi border guards had opened fire on Iranian fishing boats, killing a fisherman and arresting three others. The Saudis claim the boat had explosives and the group had planned to carry out a terror attack. Tehran denies the allegation.
Iran is the world’s “foremost” state sponsor of terrorism in 2016, according to an annual State Department report (PBS). The Country Reports on Terrorism suggests that Tehran continues to back anti-Israel groups and proxies in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
Tehran denied reports that indicate that the Iranian ambassador to Kuwait had been expelled (Reuters). Last week, Iranian and Kuwaiti media reported that Kuwait City had ordered the expulsion of Iran’s ambassador and 14 other diplomats over a supreme court ruling.
An Iran-linked cyber-spying group targeted numerous countries for the past four years (Reuters). According to a new study by cybersecurity firms ClearSky of Israel and Trend Micro of Japan, “CopyKittens” has been targeting countries including Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. The group targets victims by sending Microsoft Word attachments with malicious code and creating fake Facebook pages. They often impersonate BBC News, Twitter, YouTube, and even computer firms such as Intel and Microsoft.
For China’s global ambitions, “Iran is at the center of everything” (New York Times).