US orders aircraft carrier to remain in Gulf after ‘recent threats’ by Iran


Acting defense secretary orders USS Nimitz to halt redeployment, cites threats from Tehran against Trump on anniversary of Soleimani killing

By AFPToday, 4:59 am  0

In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Marnell Maglasang, from La Puente, Calif., directs an F/A-18E Super Hornet on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Arabian Sea, Friday Nov. 27, 2020. The Nimitz returned to the Mideast in a move to support the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq according to the Pentagon. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cheyenne Geletka/U.S. Navy via AP)

In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Marnell Maglasang, from La Puente, Calif., directs an F/A-18E Super Hornet on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Arabian Sea, Friday Nov. 27, 2020. The Nimitz returned to the Mideast in a move to support the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq according to the Pentagon. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cheyenne Geletka/U.S. Navy via AP)

WASHINGTON — The US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz will remain in the Gulf due to “recent threats” by Iran, the Pentagon said Sunday, following reports the ship was returning home in what some read as a sign of de-escalation.

The Nimitz has been patrolling Gulf waters since late November, but American media said this week that the acting US defense secretary, Christopher C. Miller, had ordered the vessel to return home.

The New York Times, quoting US officials, said this move was part of a “de-escalatory” signal to Tehran to avoid a conflict in US President Donald Trump’s last days in office.

However, Miller issued a statement to the contrary late Sunday.

“Due to 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,” he said.

“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.”

His statement came one year after a US drone strike in Baghdad killed Iran’s revered commander Qasem Soleimani and his Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Thousands of Iraqi mourners chanted “revenge” and “no to America” on Sunday.

The anniversary of the Baghdad drone strike was also marked in recent days across Iran and by supporters in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere.

Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and world powers in 2018 and launched a “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran, reimposing and reinforcing crippling sanctions.Supporters of the Popular Mobilization Forces hold a posters of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces, front, and General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Quds force during a protest marking a year since their killing in a US drone strike, in Tahrir Square, Iraq, January 3, 2021. (Khalid Moha/AP)

The two countries have twice come to the brink of war since June 2019, especially following the killing of Soleimani.

Days after the Soleimani assassination, Iran launched a volley of missiles at Iraqi bases housing US and other coalition troops, with Trump refraining from any further military response.

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s