Pentagon denies withdrawing naval carrier USS Nimitz from Persian Gulf

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Nimitz crossed into the Persian Gulf several days ago, which some saw as a sign of U.S. readiness to strike targets in Iran, media reports indicated that acting U.S. Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller ordered the carrier to return to its U.S. base.

The New York Times quoted U.S officials as saying that the move was a signal to Tehran to de-escalate and to avoid a clash in the final days of the term of outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump.

On Sunday, Miller issued a statement denying the media reports, saying that in view of recent threats by Iranian leaders against Trump and other U.S. government officials, the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz has been ordered to remain in place, and no one should question the U.S. resolve.

With mutual threats being exchanged between Washington and Tehran, a spokesman for the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces, Yahya Rasol, warned that any conflict between the United States and Iran would have disastrous consequences, stressing that Washington and Tehran must respect Iraq’s sovereignty.

Rasol stressed that Iraq does not want to be a springboard for attacking neighboring countries.