As Americans were spending their weekend celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, the nation of Iran was formulating a plan to transport their naval forces just off the coast of the United States mainland.
According to NBC News, Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi announced he is planning on sending the warships to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico regions.
Speaking at his first press conference since being appointed, Khanzadi promised his navy would “wave the flag of our country in the Gulf of Mexico.”
He pointed out that “the appearance of our vessels in the Mediterranean and Suez Canal shocked the world and the U.S. also made comments on it.”
This is not the first time Iran has threatened to move naval ships near to the U.S.:
Khanzadi’s predecessor Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said in 2014 that Iran planned to send vessels close to American maritime borders as a counter to the U.S. Navy’s presence in the Persian Gulf.
Sayyari later said the manoeuvers had been canceled “due to a change in schedule.”
The U.S. maintains a strong presence in the Middle East, including a fleet in the Persia Gulf (which directly borders Iran):
The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet is based across the Persian Gulf in Bahrain, while neighboring Qatar is home to 10,000 American troops.
President Donald Trump has branded Iran’s government a “murderous regime” and warned of its “sinister vision for the future.” He also has accused the Islamic republic of spreading “death, destruction and chaos around the globe.”
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In August, the Pentagon said there had been 14 “unsafe” and/or “unprofessional” encounters between the U.S. and Iranian militaries during 2017.
President Donald Trump recently tweeted that he will clear the “mess that [he] inherited in the Middle East.”
He said, he “will get it all done.”
Will be speaking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey this morning about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East. I will get it all done, but what a mistake, in lives and dollars (6 trillion), to be there in the first place!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017