U.S.-Iran Tensions Easing, Pentagon Officials Say

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2012 — Pen­ta­gon offi­cials said today they believe ten­sions between the Unit­ed States and Iran have cooled in recent days.

Meet­ing with reporters, Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary George Lit­tle said the Unit­ed States has been very clear “that we seek to low­er the tem­per­a­ture on ten­sions with Iran, and we think that things have calmed down a bit in recent days.”

Navy Capt. John Kir­by, Pen­ta­gon spokesman, said the pres­ence of two U.S. car­ri­er groups in the U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand area of oper­a­tions is just “pru­dent force pos­ture require­ments set by the com­bat­ant com­man­der,” and is noth­ing out of the ordi­nary.

The two car­ri­er groups in the 5th Fleet region con­tin­ue the near­ly con­stant U.S. naval deploy­ments to the region since World War II, Kir­by not­ed. “That pres­ence changes all the time,” he said. “It fluc­tu­ates based on needs and require­ments set by the com­bat­ant com­man­der and approved by the Joint Staff and the sec­re­tary of defense.”

The pres­ence of the two car­ri­ers is not tied to recent strains with Iran, the cap­tain said, point­ing out that it takes months for a bat­tle group to train up and deploy.

“I don’t want to leave any­body with the impres­sion that … we’re some­how ‘zorch­ing’ two car­ri­ers over there because we’re con­cerned about what hap­pened … today in Iran,” he said. “It’s just not the case.” Iran­ian media report­ed that a sci­en­tist from a ura­ni­um enrich­ment plant and his body­guard were killed today in Tehran.

The fact that two car­ri­ers are in the region is not an indi­ca­tion of any spe­cif­ic trou­ble with respect to Iran, Kir­by said.

Nei­ther car­ri­er group is inside the Strait of Hor­muz, Kir­by told reporters. The strait is an inter­na­tion­al water­way and a key sea lane for the oil of the Mid­dle East to reach cus­tomers around the world.

“It’s a key choke­point,” he said. “And the Unit­ed States Navy has and will con­tin­ue to remain a force in that region to help pro­tect the free flow of com­merce in inter­na­tion­al waters.”

Kir­by acknowl­edged that Iran could use access-denial capa­bil­i­ties to close the water­way tem­porar­i­ly, not­ing that Army Gen. Mar­tin E. Dempsey, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said as much Jan. 8 on the CBS pro­gram “Face the Nation.” But he empha­sized that any such clo­sure would be of short dura­tion.

“We’re very com­fort­able with the capa­bil­i­ties that we have and we main­tain, and the part­ner­ships and the com­mit­ments we have in the region,” the cap­tain said. “We’re very com­fort­able that we will be able to meet those require­ments and those com­mit­ments.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →