U.S. warns Iran to back off in Persian Gulf

USA Today

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A U.S. State Department official ruled out talks with Iran and said Tuesday that a second U.S. aircraft carrier strike group now steaming toward the Middle East is Washington’s way of warning Tehran not to challenge America.

Nicholas Burns, the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, said Iran must halt enrichment of uranium before the Bush administration will agree to direct negotiations. Several prominent American leaders have urged Bush to seek Iran’s help quelling sectarian conflict in neighboring Iraq.

“The Middle East isn’t a region to be dominated by Iran. The Gulf isn’t a body of water to be controlled by Iran. That’s why we’ve seen the United States station two carrier battle groups in the region,” Burns said in an address to the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center, an influential think-tank.

“Iran is going to have to understand that the United States will protect its interests if Iran seeks to confront us,” Burns continued. “We will defend our interests if we are challenged. That might be a message Iran must understand.”

The last time Iran decided they would challenge us in Persian Gulf was when the USS Samuel B Roberts hit a mine set adrift in international waters by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. 

operation-praying-mantis.jpgThe US Response was Operation Praying Mantis and it resulted in heavy damage to one Iranian Frigate and the sinking of another. Iran also suffered the destruction of two oil platforms in the Persian Gulf, Siri & Sassan, from which the mining operation was conducted.  iranian_frigate_sahand_on_fire.jpg

I had a front row seat in this operation and remember it quite well, the Iranian leadership, however seems to have forgotten it.    


  1. “No Higher Honor” (Naval Institute Press, 2006) is a new book about the USS Samuel B. Roberts and the U.S. retribution. Visit http://www.nohigherhonor.com for excerpts, photos, and video and audio clips.

  2. Thanks for the comment Brad, I will certainly check out the book.


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