US sends ships, planes to Persian Gulf as tension mounts; US to Iran: “Don’t Even Think About Closing Hormuz – We’ll Put Your Fast Boats on the Bottom of the Gulf”
The United States has moved new forces into the Gulf to keep strategic waterways open and strike deep within Iran in the event of a regional military escalation, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
The Times cited senior officials as saying the quiet build-up was aimed at reassuring Israel that Washington is serious about addressing Iran’s nuclear program and keeping the Straits of Hormuz — a key oil choke point — open.
“The message to Iran is, ‘Don’t even think about it,’ “it quoted a senior Defense Department official as saying.
“Don’t even think about closing the strait. We’ll clear the mines. Don’t even think about sending your fast boats out to harass our vessels or commercial shipping. We’ll put them on the bottom of the Gulf.”
The Navy has doubled the number of minesweepers in the region, to eight vessels, and stealthy F-22s and older F-15C warplanes have been deployed to regional bases to reinforce existing carrier strike groups, the Times said.
Iran’s MPs debate Strait of Hormuz closure
Iranian MPs sign a draft law aimed at blocking Europe-bound oil tankers from using the Strait of Hormuz.
NYT: U.S. Adds Forces in Persian Gulf, a Signal to Iran
The deployments are part of a long-planned effort to bolster the American military presence in the gulf region, in part to reassure Israel that in dealing with Iran,
as one senior administration official put it last week, “When the president says there are other options on the table beyond negotiations, he means it.”
“The message to Iran is, ‘Don’t even think about it,’ ” one senior Defense Department official said. “Don’t even think about closing the strait. We’ll clear the mines. Don’t even think about sending your fast boats out to harass our vessels or commercial shipping. We’ll put them on the bottom of the gulf.”
Like others interviewed, the official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the diplomatic and military situation.
No tankers have gone thru for nearly 24 hrs
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TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian foreign ministry official welcomed a draft bill of the parliament requiring the government to close the Strait of Hormuz to those tankers shipping crude to the countries that support sanctions against Iran, and said the government will implement the bill once it receives the approval of the legislature.
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