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The US and Iran say they don't want a Persian Gulf war, but there's a risk that an Iran-backed militia could start it by attacking Americans in Iraq.
The UK and US both have many warships in the region that have proven their mettle in backing down Iranian threats.
USS Boxer had a bizarre and dangerous encounter with an Iranian chopper right before the ship destroyed a drone
The Wall Street Journal reporter Rory Jones was aboard the USS Boxer in the hours before it downed an Iranian drone in the Persian Gulf.
Behind the latest tensions is the US desire for the control of a resource that Iran is in a unique position to challenge, writes Michael T. Klare.
"Threats to international freedom of navigation require an international solution," a Defense Department spokesman said to INSIDER.
Iran may be playing on a key US weakness to flip the tanker mining crisis on its head and spike oil prices
Iran can keep mining tankers carrying a fifth of the world's oil supply, and the US military can't do much to stop it.
The US military sent tons of firepower to the Middle East as a show of force to Iran, but it is holding back amid fears tensions could boil over.
An Iranian official said Friday that "even our short-range missiles can easily reach" US warships that sailed into the Persian Gulf on Thursday.
The US got intel hinting at a possible Iranian attack on US interests, so Washington decided to move additional firepower to the region as a warning.
Here’s what it looked like when 2 Iranian speedboats zipped by a US warship carrying the top commander in the Middle East
US and Iranian vessels have not had an "unsafe or unprofessional" incident in more than a year, but they had a close encounter last week.