Iran has ended a 10-day naval exercise in the Straits of Hormuz and has issued a warning to the US that it should no longer deploy an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.
But Washington appears not to have complied: the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered USS John C. Stennis passed through the straits on Tuesday after visiting Dubai.
“We recommend, advise or, better to say, we warn the American warship which was previously in the Persian Gulf, which is a threat to us, that it should not return, and we are not used to repeating our warnings,” said the Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian navy General Ataollah Salehi.
The Americans have not officially responded to the threat, and the White House said the sabre-rattling was business as usual and not a sign of growing strength.
“I think it reflects the fact that Iran is in a position of weakness. It’s the latest round of Iranian threats and it’s confirmation that Tehran is under increasing pressure for its continued failure for it to live up to its international obligation. Iran is isolated and is seeking to divert attention from it’s domestic problems,” said spokesman Jay Carney.
The Iranian riyal hit its lowest level against the dollar on Monday after the US slapped sanctions on its central bank, a call echoed by France on Tuesday as more pressure is brought to bear on the regime to try and get it to resume talks on its nuclear programme.