TEHRAN — Iran’s Supreme Leader is calling a ship’s crew “heroes of fighting the Great Satan” for being one of the rare crews in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy to successfully avoid accidentally catching fire.
After seven IRGCN ships caught fire in the port of Bushehr on July 15, Iran quickly called the disaster “American sabotage.” The IRGCN subsequently awarded the crew the Corvette Bayandor the Order of Nasr for being hundreds of miles away at another port.
“In this deadly attack by the American aggressor,” IRGCN Commander Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said, “these sailors were the bravest of the brave.”
“By being in dry dock.”
In recent months, Iran has suffered multiple fires or explosions at locations such as fuel tanks near Kermanshah, the Natanz centrifuge production plant, a power plant near Isfahan, and at the Parchin nuclear weapons center.
This leads some Western naval experts to support the award. Dr. Sarah Jennings of the Center for Naval Analyses said, “With Iran’s record for disaster, that crew should get medals for being one of the few national defense assets that hasn’t gone up in smoke, like Burning Man.”
Seasoned sailors find the situation less impressive. U.S. Coast Guard Damage Control Chief Petty Officer Daniel Corrigan said, “Seven ship fires is fucking bush league. American boaters can light up more than that on any Saturday night on the Intracoastal Waterway. Drunken frat guys torch more boats on a single day on spring break.”
“It’s a little confusing that we’re being honored for not doing something,” one Bayandor crewman told the Iranian press, “but this medal is no less legitimate than the Bronze Stars I hear every American major gets just for setting foot in Afghanistan. And I’ll take the promotion points anyhow.”
The Pentagon disavowed any involvement in the Iran ship fires. “Small ship fires is not a US Navy tactic, we only burn capital ships” said 5th Fleet spokesman Lt. Cdr. Dwight Underhill. “Nor were we involved in that fake ass aircraft carrier sinking in their own harbor, although that’s more in our wheelhouse.”
In related news, Iranian military officers are petitioning the Ayatollah to establish more awards for “just showing up” such as Legions of Merit, Bronze Stars, and Revolutionary Guard Achievement Medals.