mighty USS John Stennis: Tehran has told the U.S.
the $4.5 billion, 115,000-ton nuclear aircraft carrier out of
Gulf - unless of course, the U.S. gets Iran's permission.
News Agency, Islamic Republic of Iran
Use of Strait of Hormuz as 'Defensive Tool'
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
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,"
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.
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 HabibollahSayyari 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 NaderQazipour 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.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
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 KazzemJalali, 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.
"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 TaqiRahbar told Fars late December.
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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