Iran vows action if US sends aircraft carrier back to Gulf

Army chief says Persian state ‘will not repeat its warning’ as tensions escalate
The US pulled a carrier from the Gulf during Iranian naval exercises
By Reuters
Tue 03 Jan 2012 03:34 PM

Iran will take action if a US aircraft carrier which left
the area because of Iranian naval exercises returns to the Gulf, the state news
agency quoted army chief Ataollah Salehi as saying on Tuesday.

"Iran will not repeat its warning ... the enemy's
carrier has been moved to the Sea of Oman because of our drill. I recommend and
emphasise to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf,"
Salehi told IRNA.

"I advise, recommend and warn them [the Americans] over
the return of this carrier to the Persian Gulf because we are not in the habit
of warning more than once," the semi-official Fars news agency quoted
Salehi as saying.

Salehi did not name the aircraft carrier or give details of
the action Iran might take if it returned.

Iran completed 10 days of naval exercises in the Gulf on
Monday, and said during the drills that if foreign powers imposed sanctions on
its crude exports it could shut the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent
of the world's traded oil is shipped.

The US Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, said it would
not allow shipping to be disrupted in the strait.

Iran said on Monday it had successfully test-fired two
long-range missiles during its naval drill, flexing its military muscle in the
face of mounting Western pressure over its controversial nuclear programme.

Iran also said it had no intention of closing the Strait of
but had carried out "mock" exercises on shutting the strategic

Tehran denies Western accusations that it is secretly trying
to build atomic bombs, saying it needs nuclear technology to generate

The United States and Israel have not ruled out military
action against Iran if diplomacy fails to resolve the Islamic state's nuclear
row with the West.

The European Union is considering following the United
States in banning imports of Iranian crude oil. US President Barack Obama
signed new sanctions against Iran into law on Saturday, stepping up the
pressure by adding sanctions on financial institutions that deal with Iran's
central bank.

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Last Updated: Thu 26 Jan 2017 01:27 PM GST

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