After weeks of constant disagreement between the U.S. and Iran regarding the imposed economic sanctions on oil transports, the situation seems to have reached a hazardous point. Iran has issued its most aggressive statement yet as it threatens the U.S. Navy to take action if it deploys ships in the Gulf region.
The trouble between Iran and U.S. started a few weeks earlier, when sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program have been increased. The main concern is that, despite Iran’s claims that its nuclear program is strictly peaceful, the West believes it has plans to build an atomic bomb.
As a result, since January 1st 2012, a sanction by U.S., targets specifically financial institutions working with the Iran’s central bank. Basically, these financial institutions will be cut off from the U.S. financial system, which blocks Iran from directly receiving payments for its crude.
At the same time, the European Union is also expected to impose a new set of sanctions for Iran by the end of January. Sources say EU’s sanctions involve a ban on oil imports and a freeze of central bank assets.
Iran army chief Ataollah Salehi accused the United States of moving an aircraft carrier out of the Gulf because of the country’s naval exercises. If the ship returns, Iran vowed to take action. In fact, Ataollah Salehi declared: “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 emphasize to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf”.
Although this isn’t the first similar statement Iran makes, the U.S. force and officials remain defiant. Pentagon press secretary George Little said in a statement that “the deployment of U.S. military assets in the Persian Gulf region will continue as it has for decades. Little also mentioned that “no one in this government seeks confrontation over the Strait of Hormuz”.
According toLieutenant Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the 5th Fleet, the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis left the Gulf on December 27, following a planned routing transit through the Strait of Hormuz. At the moment it is outside the Gulf in the Arabian Sea, offering air support for the war in Afghanistan.