Iran's navy has a problem: A track record of being crushed in battle

On April 14, 1988, the frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts struck an Iranian mine while escorting tanker ships through the Persian Gulf. The carrier USS Enterprise led a retaliatory raid.

Two U.S. destroyers and an amphibious assault ship carrying a battalion of U.S. Marines assaulted an oil platform the Iranians were using as a staging base. The Iranians fired back, drawing heavy return fire from the destroyers and Marine Cobra helicopters. Marines stormed the platform, capturing one surviving Iranian gunner.

Iranian speedboats raided three civilian cargo ships. As the Iranians withdrew, Enterprise’s A-6 bombers zeroed in, sinking one speedboat with cluster bombs.

The Iranian missile boat Joshan fired a Harpoon anti-ship missile at a group of American warships—and missed. The Americans fired