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David Axe photo

Close Encounter With Iranians

A war photo a day #22

David Axe
David Axe
Aug 29, 2013 · 1 min read

Eight years. Seven wars. More death and destruction than I care to recount. I’ve been covering armed conflict since 2005. Every battlefield has its stories … and its unforgettable images. Follow me through my career at war, one jarring, haunting or sublime photo a day until I run out.

In mid-2009 the international war on piracy was escalating fast. I embarked on the destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Gulf of Aden as the 500-foot vessel sailed slow circles, hoping to run into some pirates.

Instead the warship ran into Iranians, in the form of an Iranian navy supply ship silently sailing in international waters. I snapped a photo of Donald Cook Capt. Derek Granger (off duty with his cigar) and his sailors keeping watch on the Iranian vessel as it slipped past, a haunting reminder that pirates weren’t the only possible threats.

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