US aircraft carrier to stay in Gulf due to Iranian ‘threats’: Pentagon

US aircraft carrier to stay in Gulf due to Iranian ‘threats’ Pentagon
The USS Nimitz has been patrolling Gulf waters since late November. Source: US Navy via AFP
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Daily US Times: The US has reversed a decision to bring an aircraft carrier home from the Gulf, as the Pentagon saying that due to “recent threats” by Tehran, the USS Nimitz would stay in position.

Since last November, the aircraft carrier has been patrolling Gulf waters.

Christopher C Miller, acting US Defense Secretary, in a statement on December 31, ordered the vessel to “transit directly home to complete a nearly 10-month deployment”.

Quoting US officials, the New York Times newspaper said the move was part of a “de-escalatory” signal to Iran to avoid a conflict during President Donald Trump’s last days in office.

However, acting US Defense Secretary issued a new statement changing course on Sunday.

The statement reads: “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.”

“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.”

While he did not elaborate on the threats involved, the statement from the Pentagon came on the first anniversary of a US drone raid in Baghdad that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s revered commander. The same raid killed Mr Soleimani’s Iraqi lieutenant, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Thousands of Iraqi mourners on Sunday chanted “revenge” and “no to America” as they marched in capital Baghdad and other cities.

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