The US Department of Transportation warned commercial shipping companies on Wednesday about a list of Iranian threats in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, including GPS interference and communications jamming, CNN reported.
During “at least two” of the recent encounters with Iranian military forces, “vessels reported GPS interference. One vessel reportedly shut off its Automatic Identification System before it was seized, complicating response efforts.”
The Stena Impero “turned off its tracker and ignored several warnings by the [Iranian Revolutionary] Guards before being captured,” an unnamed military source told Iran’s state news agency IRNA, according to Reuters.
Iran has placed GPS jammers on its Abu Musa Island, located in the Persian Gulf near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, a US defense official told CNN.
The jammers were placed at that location in order to disrupt civilian aircraft and ship navigation systems. Iran hoped that ships or planes would mistakenly wander into Iranian waters or airspace due to the GPS malfunctions, which would give Iranian forces the pretext needed to seize them.