Why Will The US Keep Aircraft Carriers in Persian Gulf?

Published January 4th, 2021 - 09:54 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)

The United States has reversed a decision to bring an aircraft carrier home from the Persian Gulf days after ordering the vessel out of the Middle East, saying the decision was due to "recent threats" from Iranian officials.

On December 31, acting US defense secretary Christopher C. Miller ordered the USS Nimitz, which has been patrolling Persian Gulf waters since late November, to "transit directly home to complete a nearly 10-month deployment."

Citing US officials then, The New York Times said the move was part of a "de-escalatory" signal to Iran in efforts to avert stumbling into a crisis in the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency.

However on Sunday, Miller issued a new statement, saying because of what he called “the recent threats issued by Iranian leaders against President Trump and other US government officials, I have ordered the USS Nimitz to halt its routine redeployment."

"The USS Nimitz will now remain on station in the US Central Command area of operations. No one should doubt the resolve of the United States of America."

The statement was issued on the same day Iran commemorated the anniversary of the US assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in an American drone strike conducted on January 3, 2020 in Baghdad upon a direct order by Trump.

Soleimani’s Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi anti-terror force, along with several others were also killed when their convoy was hit.

On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry censured the US for committing a “craven act of terror” against General Soleimani, vowing to prosecute the culprits in his assassination.

Also, Iran's Revolution Guards Corps vowed to prosecute the perpetrators behind the assassination.

 

The Persian Gulf region has witnessed escalating tensions since Trump accused Iran of playing a role in attacks on the American embassy in Iraq late last month, which Tehran has dismissed as false flag operations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif dismissed the accusation and warned Trump against "any adventurism" in the dying days of his presidency.

On Wednesday, Washington flew two nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over the Persian Gulf after nonstop flights to the region from their US-based hangars. It was the third time in six weeks that American bombers were conducting long-range flights off the Iranian coast.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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