The U.S. and Iran: We Engaged

The U.S. and Iran take another step in their deadly minuet

For the first time in the ever widening conflict in the Persian Gulf, Iranian and American gunners aimed their weapons at each other and pulled the triggers. Iranian speedboats, which fired first, missed an unarmed U.S. Army observation helicopter. Two U.S. gunship choppers reacted with lethal swiftness, sinking one of the attacking boats and setting two others ablaze. A fourth escaped. Although hardly a major military clash, the fiery exchange on a moonlit night in the gulf last week ratchetted the hostilities yet another notch toward a real but undeclared state of limited war.

The Reagan Administration dismissed the incident as...

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