The US Navy has a number of ships near Iran and seems to be "interacting" with the Iranian Navy on a regular basis. Reports typically describe scenarios in which a larger US ship is "swarmed" by Iranian fast attack craft. The latest report I read involving the USS Firebolt (PC-10) and a gaggle of Iranian craft stated that the Firebolt took evasive action to avoid an Iranian boat that had intentionally positioned itself in front of the larger US vessel.
Assuming that the major (generally credible) news outlets are accurately reporting the Firebolt's position in international waters, why would a large ship not just plow through (or glance off of) the smaller craft? Given that the Iranian Navy appears to be intercepting foreign ships outside of national waters, why does a more powerful navy tolerate such behavior? The US could clear the sea of these craft but that would be an overt act of aggression/war whereas a collision at sea is more of an "accident."
I assume that the Firebolt would sustain damage but the Iranian craft would (presumably) be severly damaged or destroyed and Iranian skippers would (presumably) think twice before performing such a maneuver again.
Is a little damage to a minor US ship worth the message sent to the Iranian Navy and have such "messages" been sent before?