Iran to US Aircraft Carrier: Don't Return to Gulf

Army chief says action will be taken if warning not heeded
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2012 6:52 AM CST
Iran to US Aircraft Carrier: Don't Return to Gulf
The USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier is seen as it allegedly went 'inside the manoeuvre zone' where Iranian ships are conducting 10 days of wargames in the Gulf, accoridng to Iranian officials.   (Getty Images)

Tension continues to build between Iran and the US, with Iran's army chief warning today that Tehran will take action if a US aircraft carrier returns to the Persian Gulf. The carrier was spotted there last week during Iran's 10 days of naval exercises, but left for the Sea of Oman. "I recommend and emphasize to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf," Ataollah Salehi told IRNA, adding, "We are not in the habit of warning more than once."

Salehi, who noted that "the enemy's carrier" had left the Gulf because of Iran's drill, did not specify what action his country would take, Reuters reports. The exercises wrapped up yesterday. During the drill, Iran warned that it would shut the Strait of Hormuz if sanctions were imposed on its oil exports; the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet said it would not allow shipping in the strait to be disrupted. Iran also recently said it had successfully test-fired long-range missiles and developed its first nuclear fuel rod. Click to see how the prospect of US sanctions have sent Iran's currency into freefall. (More Iran stories.)

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