(Photo: Reuters/Jamejamonline/Ebrahim Norouzi)
Iran has renewed threats against the United States, saying that aircraft carriers are not to return “to the Persian Gulf region.” The threats come amid controversial military drills being conducted in the Strait of Hormuz.
Yesterday a U.S. aircraft carrier passed by the Strait as part of its routine patrol, setting off the reaction threats from Iran. George Little, a spokesman for the Pentagon, issued a statement saying, “These carrier strike group deployments are necessary to maintain the continuity and operational support to ongoing missions in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.”
Iranian Major General Ataollah Salehi told news agency IRNA, “The country will not adopt any irrational move but it is ready to severely react against any threat. The Islamic Republic of Iran will not repeat its warning.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney addressed the threats and said, “Iran is isolated and seeking to divert attention from its behavior and domestic problems. It’s…confirmation that Tehran is under increasing pressure for its continued failure to live up to its international obligations.”
The Strait of Hormuz is of significant importance because most of the world’s oil passes through its waters. Over 17 million barrels of oil pass through the strait on a daily bases, according to reports. The U.S. has a vested interest in the Strait and has long kept vessels in the surrounding area.
Little also stated that operations work “under international maritime conventions to maintain a constant state of high vigilance in order to ensure the continued, safe flow of maritime traffic in waterways critical to global commerce.”
He added, “Our transits of the Strait of Hormuz continue to be in compliance with international law, which guarantees our vessels the right of transit passage. We are committed to protecting maritime freedoms that are the basis for global prosperity; this is one of the main reasons our military forces operate in the region.”