At End Of Drill, Iran Army Chief Warns US Carrier

Published January 3, 2012 9:36AM (EST)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's army chief has warned an American aircraft carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf.

Gen. Ataollah Salehi spoke as a 10-day Iranian naval exercise ended Tuesday. The drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz was Iran's latest show of strength in the face of mounting international criticism over its nuclear program.

The official IRNA news agency quoted Salehi as saying: "We recommend ... to the American warship that passed through the Strait of Hormuz and went on to the Gulf of Oman, not to return to the Persian Gulf."

Motives behind Salehi's statement were not immediately clear.

The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet has said that USS John C. Stennis and another vessel headed out from the Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz last Tuesday, after a visit to Dubai's Jebel Ali port.

By Salon Staff

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