U.S. Navy on Increased Level of Alertness Because of Iran

The United States Navy is monitoring Iranian behavior in the Gulf and is expecting a “period of uncertainty”, as well as increased level of alertness, after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from an international nuclear deal with Iran, the U.S. Navy chief said on Monday.

Trump last week announced that the United States was withdrawing from the 2015 deal, negotiated by the Obama administration.

According to Reuters, Washington’s European allies cast uncertainty over global oil supplies and raised the risk of conflict in the Middle East.

“It is a period of uncertainty that we are entering into right, how the whole world will respond to this latest development,” Chief of U.S. Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson told a small group of reporters.

“(We have to) remain alert, I mean even a little bit more alert than usual to just be open to any kind of response or new development or something like that,” Richardson added.

The Admiral was speaking after his visit of the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia, where U.S. and French troops are carrying out joint training.

Although Richardson said that the U.S. Navy had not seen any provocative Iranian behavior in the Gulf since Trump’s announcement, he added that they will continue to watch closely.

Reuters reported that in recent years, there have been occasional confrontations between the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of Iran’s armed forces, and U.S. military in the Gulf, a major trade route for oil, but there have been no major incidents since last year.

In August 2017, U.S. officials stated that an Iranian drone came within 100 feet of a U.S. Navy warplane, as it prepared to land on an aircraft carrier in the Gulf.

Iran considers the Gulf as their own territory and claims that it has a legitimate interest in expanding its influence there, arguing that the region should have its own security collectively, without the U.S. patrolling the area.

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