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U.S. says will continue to deploy warships in Persian Gulf despite Iranian threats

In Americas, World News on January 4, 2012 at 9:22 pm

By Haaretz

The United States will continue to deploy its warships in the Gulf, a defense spokesman said on Tuesday after Iran threatened to take action if the U.S. Navy moves an aircraft carrier into the Gulf.

“These are regularly scheduled movements and in accordance with our long-standing commitments to the security and stability of the region and in support of ongoing operations,” Commander Bill Speaks said in an emailed response to Reuters questions.

“The U.S. Navy operates 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 said.

When asked later Tuesday if the U.S. intends to send naval reinforcements to the Gulf in response to Iranian talk of closing the Strait of Hormuz, Pentagon spokesperson George Little did not answer directly but said, “No one in this government seeks confrontation over the Strait of Hormuz. It’s important to lower the temperature.”

Also referring to Iranian threats on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. saw “these threats from Tehran as just increasing evidence that the international pressure is beginning to bite.”

“They are feeling increasingly isolated and they are trying to divert the attention of their own public from the difficulties inside Iran, including the economic difficulties as a result of sanctions,” Nuland told a…

Full article…

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