US builds up military force in Persian Gulf in bid to ‘deter’ Iran on its own turf
Thousands of US Marines, along with fighter planes and warships, are being deployed to the Persian Gulf and far from US borders, in a hope to deter Iran on its own turf.
Iran has repeatedly vowed against foreign military presence in the strategic waterway.
The deployment of American troops and USS Bataan aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, alongside advance F-35 fighter jets and other warplanes, signals Washington’s failed economic and “diplomatic” forceful measures against Iran and comes amid US desire to focus most of its resources on nuclear rivals China and Russia, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The US aircraft carrier as well as USS Carter Hall landing ship left Norfolk naval base in Virginia on July 10 on a mission that the American military purportedly described as “in response to recent attempts by Iran to threaten the free flow of commerce in the Strait of Hormuz and its surrounding waters” – very close to Iranian territorial waters.
According to the AP report, the Bataan passed through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea last week on its way to the Persian Gulf region.
In the two decades that followed the September 11, 2001 incidents in New York and near Washington, there were at times two different US aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf to provide fighter jets for its imposed wars on Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of establishing “democracy” and “fighting terror,” – neither of which materialized.
The USS Nimitz was the last American aircraft carrier that sailed out of the Strait of Hormuz in November 2020 from the Persian Gulf.
While the US military has yet to unveil the precise objectives of its surging presence pretty close to Iran’s territorial waters, the report adds, Tehran has taken note of the move with Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian calling his counterparts in Persian Gulf neighbors of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently to reiterate that "we can have peace, stability and progress in the region without the presence of foreigners.”
Pointing to the deadlocked negotiations between Tehran and major Western government over the 2015 nuclear agreement, as well as Iran’s demonstrated defensive might, the report expresses concerns that the US “appears again to be relying on military might to convince Tehran to dial back.”
It further observes that “Washington is seeing once again that while it's easy to get into the Middle East militarily, it's difficult to ever get fully out.”
The report also underlines recent seizure by Iranian naval forces of commercial ships carrying away contraband oil in the Persian Gulf despite the backing of American naval and air forces in the area, noting that such developments serve “as a warning to the US and its allies that the Islamic Republic has the means to retaliate.”
“Worries over another seizure [by Iran forces] likely has left a ship allegedly carrying Iranian oil stranded off Texas as no company has yet to unload it,” the report then emphasized.
The development comes despite US military forces and resources are also heavily engaged in Europe in response to the Ukraine conflict as well as Asia-Pacific to support self-ruled Chinese Taipei and counter China’s rising clout and assertiveness in the region.
Top Iranian commanders have repeatedly warned foreign military forces – particularly the US – against intruding into the Persian Gulf region under any excused, insisting that the security of the strategic waterway must be handled by regional countries.
Iran has previously taken strong retaliatory measures against US intrusion into Iranian air space as well as the terror-assassination of top Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani and other senior Iranian and Iraqi officers in Baghdad’s international airport in early 2020.
As the result, Iranian forces shot down advanced US Global Hawk spy drone over its territorial waters in the Persian Gulf back in June 2019 and heavily damaged an American air base in Iraq with multiple missiles following the terror assassination of General Soleimani.