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Days after ordering a US aircraft carrier to leave the Middle East, the country’s Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller reversed that decision and ordered the USS Nimitz to remain in place due to alleged Iranian threats “against President Trump. and other US government officials. ” .

Miller said in a statement Sunday night that he had “directed the USS Nimitz to halt its routine redeployment.”

The carrier will now “remain at the station in the US Central Command area of ​​operations,” Miller added.

“No one should doubt the determination of the United States of America.”

In this photo provided by the US Navy, the carrier strike groups USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76, front) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68, rear) sail together in formation, in the South China Sea, on Monday, July 6, 2020. (AP)
Last week, the acting Defense Secretary had decided not to push to extend the carrier’s deployment to the Persian Gulf, a surprising move given the mounting tensions between Washington and Tehran surrounding the anniversary of the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani last year.

In the final days of 2020, the United States sent nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the Middle East, prompting a top Iranian military adviser to tweet Trump directly, warning him “not to make the New Year mourning for Americans.” .

Iran called on the United Nations Security Council on Thursday to prevent the United States from carrying out what it called further “military adventurism” in the Gulf and Sea of ​​Oman, including sending nuclear-capable bombers to the region, declaring that it did not want conflict, would defend itself if necessary.

According to US sources, some Iranian military forces have increased your readiness levels in recent days, having moved short-range ballistic missiles into Iraq, where they could potentially strike US bases, as Iran did in the days after Soleimani’s assassination last year.
President Donald Trump listens during an event in the White House meeting room in Washington. (AP)

Trump has consistently taken a hard line with Iran, and the two countries appeared to be close to war at the time of Soleimani’s death, although tensions had eased considerably during the coronavirus pandemic.

With the president’s time in office running out, Some analysts in Washington speculate that Trump could spark a conflict with Iran to distract attention from his unsuccessful and unfounded attempts to reverse his electoral defeat and complicate his successor’s plans for the region.
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“I’m really concerned that the president may be thinking of charging President-elect Biden with some kind of military operation when he walks out the door,” said Tom Nichols, an international affairs expert who teaches at the US Naval War College. .

Iran’s own Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused on Thursday that Trump is creating a pretext for war.

President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP)
President-elect Joe Biden wants to ease Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran, resume engagement, and return to the Iran nuclear deal – all steps the hawks in the Trump administration vehemently oppose, and all the reasons, some analysts say. , that if Iran carries out any kind of attack, it would be carefully calibrated.

“Iran poses a real threat to the national security of the United States, particularly during this period of heightened risk due to the upcoming anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination,” said Sam Vinograd, a former National Security Council official and CNN analyst.

However, Vinograd added, “I think Iran will calibrate any attack associated with this anniversary because they don’t want to box themselves in before Biden takes office and apparently restarts nuclear negotiations that would lead to the lifting of sanctions.”


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