Saturday, July 05, 2008

US Navy to Iran: We come in peace

Sat, 05 Jul 2008 18:37:32 PRESSTV
The new commander of the US Fifth Fleet says the American naval presence in the Persian Gulf poses no threat to Iranian interests.

Speaking to reporters in Bahrain on Saturday, Vice Admiral William Gortney claimed the White House only seeks to send a 'very clear message' that its naval presence will help 'maintain security' and 'provide stability' in the region.

Gortney, who was navy chief during the US-led invasion of Iraq, suggested that his 'experience' in the Persian Gulf was the main factor for replacing Vice Admiral Kevin J. Cosgriff as the commander of the Fifth Fleet.

A New York Times report recently revealed that Tel Aviv may have staged military maneuvers over the Mediterranean in early June to prepare for aerial strikes on Iran's nuclear sites. Gortney's remarks came shortly after Iran's army chief, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, warned that in case of an attack against Iran the country would not hesitate to take all necessary measures, including shutting down the Strait of Hormuz, to secure its national interests.

The strategically important Strait of Hormuz, between Iran and Oman, is a vital conduit for energy supplies. As much as 40 percent of the world's crude oil passes through the Persian Gulf waterway.

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