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Pentagon dismisses Iran threat on Gulf transit

US defiant in face of Iranian threats, says aircraft carrier strike groups to be sent to Persian Gulf

Reuters and AFP, Tuesday 3 Jan 2012
Aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis transiting the Strait of Hormuz, (Photo: Reuters).
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The Pentagon said on Tuesday it would keep sending US aircraft carrier strike groups into the Gulf, despite a threat by Iran's military to take action.

"The deployment of US military assets in the Persian Gulf region will continue as it has for decades," Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.

"These carrier strike group deployments are necessary to maintain the continuity and operational support to ongoing missions."

The movement of aircraft carriers and accompanying ships in the Gulf and through the strategic Strait of Hormuz was part of longstanding US security commitments, supported US military operations in the region and was in compliance with the laws of the sea, he said.

"Our transits of the Strait of Hormuz continue to be in compliance with international law, which guarantees our vessels the right of transit passage.

"We are committed to protecting maritime freedoms that are the basis for global prosperity; this is one of the main reasons our military forces operate in the region," Little said, without referring directly to Iran.

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