BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – Acting US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller announced that the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, which was to be withdrawn, would remain in the Gulf waters after “recent threats” from the Iranian side.
“Due to recent threats by Iranian leaders against President Trump and other US government officials, the aircraft carrier Nimitz has been ordered to halt the routine redeployment,” Miller said in a statement .
“The aircraft carrier Nimitz will now remain in the US Central Command’s area of operations. No one should doubt the determination of the United States, ” he added.
The carrier Nimitz has been patrolling the Gulf waters since the end of November, but US media reported last week that Acting US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller had ordered the aircraft carrier to return to the United States.
The New York Times quoted US officials as saying that this step comes within the framework of “de-escalation” with Tehran to avoid a conflict with Washington in the last few days of President Donald Trump in office.
Previously, it was reported that Donald Trump was seeking options to weaken Iran’s nuclear program before leaving office. Shortly after this report was issued by the New York Times, the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated outside of Tehran.
Iran accused Israel of playing a role in the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, meanwhile the US has been mum about the killing of the nuclear scientist.