THE United States will keep the USS Nimitz in the Middle East after it had previously been ordered to end its deployment amid escalating threats from Iran, it was announced on Sunday.
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller announced that the aircraft carrier would remain in place as Iranian leaders have vowed to turn US aircraft carriers into “sinking submarines” on the anniversary of the death of Iran’s revered commander Qasem Soleimani.
“Due to the recent threats issued by Iranian leaders against President Trump and other U.S. government officials, I have ordered the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) to halt its routine redeployment,” Miller said in the statement, obtained by MilitaryTimes.com.
“USS Nimitz will now remain on station in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. No one should doubt the resolve of the United States of America.”
The US has been conducting B-52 bomber flyovers and sent a nuclear submarine into the Persian Gulf.
The military action was in response to what Donald Trump officials describe as the possibility of an Iranian attack on the anniversary of the strike that killed Soleimani and his Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
And Tehran appeared to back up this war of words today, after Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi warned that Iran would hit back – hard.
Iranian international news network Press TV quoted the top military brass vowing: “We will never initiate a war, but we will respond decisively and with our utmost power and readiness if anyone attacks Iran.”
Soleimani’s replacement Esmail Qaani said that the United States has “sought to assassinate” its leaders for 30 years while lambasting Trump as an “imbecile.”
“For 30 years, you sought to assassinate our leaders Soleimani and [al-Muhandis], and an imbecile backed by the Zionists and the House of Saud committed this heinous crime,” Qaani said, an NBC news analyst reported.
He added: “This criminal assassination [of Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis] opened the door for the free sons of our Muslim nation to take revenge.”
US officials have said they’re bracing for a possible attack from Iran – as it’s suspected the incoming Biden administration is most likely not prepared.