No need for foreign forces in Gulf: Iran
Tehran, January 3, 2012
Iran's navy chief said on Tuesday there was no need for the presence of foreign forces to maintain security in the Gulf.
'We can maintain the security in the Gulf and there is no need for the presence of foreign forces ... Iran acts based on international law and foreign troops cannot be present in our territorial waters,' Habibollah Sayyari told Iran's Al Alam state television.
Sayyari's comments followed a warning from army chief Ataollah Salehi that Iran will take action if a US aircraft carrier which left the area because of Iranian naval exercises returns to the Gulf.
'Iran will not repeat its warning ... the enemy's carrier has been moved to the Sea of Oman because of our drill. I recommend and emphasise to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf,' Salehi told Irna.
'I advise, recommend and warn them (the Americans) over the return of this carrier to the Persian Gulf because we are not in the habit of warning more than once,' the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Salehi as saying.
Salehi did not name the aircraft carrier or give details of the action Iran might take if it returned.
Iran also said it had no intention of closing the Strait of Hormuz but had carried out 'mock' exercises on shutting the strategic waterway. - Reuters