US to keep warships in Gulf region despite Iranian threats: White House

Earlier,Iran warned US to keep aircraft carriers out of the Persian Gulf.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published:January 4, 2012 6:07 pm

The US has brushed aside Iran’s warning to keep American aircraft carriers out of the Persian Gulf,dismissing its latest threats as signs that biting sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear activities are working.

Underlining its commitment to protect maritime freedom in the Persian Gulf region,the White House and the Pentagon dismissed Iranian threats and ruled out any change in US warship deployment schedule in the key region.

“It’s the latest round of Iranian threats and is confirmation that Tehran is under increasing pressure for its continued failure to live up to its international obligations,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

“Iran is isolated and is seeking to divert attention from its behaviour and domestic problems,” Carney said yesterday.

Separately,a top Pentagon official underlined that the US was “committed to protecting maritime freedoms that are the basis for global prosperity”,adding “this is one of the main reasons our military forces operate in the region”.

“The deployment of US military assets in the Persian Gulf region will continue as it has for decades,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

“These are regularly scheduled movements in accordance with our longstanding commitments to the security and stability of the region and in support of ongoing operations,” he said.

The separate White House and Pentagon’s statements came hours after Iranian Army chief Major General Ataollah Salehi warned the US not to move its aircraft carrier back in the region,noting that it will take action if it did so.

“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,” he had said.

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