The mighty USS John Stennis: Tehran has told the U.S. to keep

the $4.5 billion, 115,000-ton nuclear aircraft carrier out of the

Persian Gulf - unless of course, the U.S. gets Iran's permission.



Fars News Agency, Islamic Republic of Iran

Tehran Threatens Use of Strait of Hormuz as 'Defensive Tool'


Is the Islamic Republic of Iran fully within its legal rights to cut off one of the world's most essential energy lifelines if it feels itself threatened by a 'foreign power'? This news item from Iran's state-run Fars News Agency quotes Iranian generals and lawmakers on the likelihood of closing down the Strait of Hormuz, and outlines new rules that all warships approaching the Strait will now need Iran's permission to enter.


January 3, 2011


Islamic Republic of Iran - Fars News Agency - Original Article (English)

TEHRAN: On Tuesday, commander-in-chief of the Iranian Army, Ataollah Salehi, warned the United States to avoid returning its aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf. The warning comes after the nuclear aircraft carrier USS John Stennis was chased away during war games by Iranian warships.


At the end of the massive Velayat 90 naval drills, speaking on the sidelines of a naval parade in the Sea of Oman, Salehi said that the U.S. aircraft carrier passed through the Strait of Hormuz and stationed itself in the Sea of Oman before Iran's naval drills began.


General Salehi warned the Pentagon to think twice about the trafficking of its military ships in the region.


"We advise, warn and recommend to them not to station this carrier where it recently was in the Persian Gulf. We aren't used to repeating our warnings. We issue them only once," Salehi reiterated.


The USS John Stennis passed through the Strait of Hormoz heading east across the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. Defense Department claimed that the passage was "routine."


Salehi's remarks came after the Navy completed 10 days of war games in Iran's southern waters. During the war games, an Iranian vessel and a surveillance plane tracked, photographed and recorded video of the U.S. aircraft carrier.


It isn't clear what information the Iranian military could gleam from such footage [video below], but it did display an element of Iranian naval power.



Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that the exercises demonstrated that Iran has "control over the movement by foreign forces" in the area that Tehran held the exercises.


"An Iranian vessel and surveillance plane tracked, filmed and photographed an American aircraft carrier as it entered the Sea of Oman from the Persian Gulf," Sayyari said.


Tighter Regulation of the Strait of Hormuz


Majlis Member Nader Qazipour said on Monday that all foreign warships will have to receive permission from the nearest Iranian Naval authorities in order to pass through the Strait of Hormuz. According to Qazipour, because the strategic waterway is part of Iranian territory, lawmakers are now working on the plan.


"If warships and other military vessels from any nation attempt to pass the Strait of Hormuz without coordinating with and obtaining the permission of Iran Naval forces, they should be stopped by our armed forces," Qazipour told Fars, outlining the contents of the plan.  



He underlined that the plan would be presented to the presiding board of the Majlis next week.


In relevant remarks Monday, another legislator stressed that Iran would use every capability and opportunity to defend the country against foreign threats, including the use of the Strait of Hormuz as a tool for defense, closing the waterway if the nation comes under threat.


"There should be absolutely no doubt that if confronted with threats, we will use the defensive potential of the Strait of Hormuz [to defend ourselves]," said Kazzem Jalali, spokesman for the Majlis Foreign Relations Committee told Fars.


Iranian lawmakers and officials have warned the enemies that as a defensive option against foreign invasion, Iran is entitled to close the strategic oil lifeline.





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"Closing the Strait of Hormuz is not now a part of the Islamic Republic's agenda, but if the rights of our nation are threatened with being trampled on while others seek to go on using the Strait to export their oil, Iran will have every right to close the Strait of Hormuz," Majlis member Taqi Rahbar told Fars late December.


"International conventions reserve such rights not only for others - but for the Islamic Republic of Iran as well," Rahbar underscored.


But the lawmaker also said, "Up to now, there has been no decision by the Islamic Republic to close the Strait, but ultimately, that will depend on conditions in the region."




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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US Jan. 4, 3:14am]




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