Iran issued a threat on Tuesday, warning that they would take action if a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier returned to the Persian Gulf.
According to Iranian army chief Ataollah Salehi, the U.S. moved the aircraft carrier out of the Gulf days ago when Iran began 10 days of navel drills testing its long-range missiles and showcasing its military capabilities.
Salehi did not name the carrier, nor did he specify what action Iran would take if the carrier returned.
“Iran will not repeat its warning … the enemy’s carrier has been moved to the Sea of Oman because of our drill. I recommend and emphasize to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf,” Iran’s IRNA news agency quoted Salehi as saying.
Some analysts perceive the Iranian military drills as a veiled threat to close off access to the Persian Gulf.
Nearly 40 percent of world oil is shipped through the Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz, and analysts believe that the move on behalf of Iran is meant to send a message to the West on the possible repercussions of imposing further sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
Although Iran has said that it has no intensions of closing the Strait of Hormuz, a "mock" exercise was conducted during the drills in which the Iranian navy shutdown the waterway.
An Iranian naval commander told Euro News that the naval drills displayed that the Strait of Hormuz is “under our control” but maintained that the drills were carried out to preserve security in the region.
The threat emanating from Iran follows a strong blow on the country’s currency after the U.S. and E.U. increased sanctions against Iran. The sanctions were a result of the emergence of an International Atomic Agency report implicating Iran in building a nuclear bomb.
Iran has indicated that it is willing to enter into new talks regarding its nuclear program, which the country maintains, it says, for peaceful purposes.
Western officials discount Iran’s claims and allege that the Islamic republic could be attempting to build a bomb.