TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- The deployment of the mine hunter USS Gladiator in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday was not aimed at Iran, a US Navy spokesman said.
“The presence of the minesweeper was a long-scheduled event that is not part of any military build-up in the Persian Gulf.
“The USS Gladiator and another mine countermeasure ship are replacing two recently decommissioned coastal mine hunters, and the move should not be seen as aimed at any country,” Lieutenant Commander Charlie Brown told Gulf News.
“We work closely with regional partners to provide security from mines in international waters so all commercial shipping can operate safely while transiting the region,” he said.
Gladiator yesterday arrived in Bahrain to join the USS Dextrous and USS Ardent in operations “to protect ships and their crews from invisible threats in the water.
“The arrival of the 1,300 ton, 224-foot Gladiator in Bahrain is part of the deployment of two new Avenger-class minesweepers that will maintain the current US Navy presence of four mine countermeasure ships in the Persian Gulf”.
The US has been beefing up its forces in the region and will next month will replace US navy aircraft carrier Eisenhower with the John C. Stennis, a Nimitz-class carrier.
US navy aircraft carrier Eisenhower left the Persian Gulf for the eastern coasts of Oman a few days ago, an informed source in the Iranian armed forces said here on Tuesday.
“Despite the United States’ extensive propaganda about the build-up of its naval fleet in the Persian Gulf region, which serves as a part of Washington’s psychological war on Iran, the US navy aircraft carrier Eisenhower left the Persian Gulf waters a few days ago and is now deployed in the eastern coasts of Oman,” the source told FNA.
Asked if Eisenhower has been replaced with another US navy aircraft carrier, namely John C. Stennis, he responded, “There are some who intend to pretend that the US military troops are on a stand-by position prepared to launch an attack on Iran, but this is not the truth and the case with Eisenhower substantiates the same fact.”
The source also assured that Iranian naval force are in full control of the situation and closely monitor the trafficking, displacements and deployment of trans-regional force in the region.