Hours after Iran’s naval commander, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, said his forces could close the Strait of Hormuz “very easily,” the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain and patrols the Strait of Hormuz, responding to Admiral Sayyari’s remarks, said its warships would stop the Iranians if necessary.
“The free flow of goods and services through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to regional and global prosperity,” Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the Fifth Fleet told the Times. “Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated,” Lieutenant Rebarich added. “The U.S. Navy is a flexible, multi-capable force committed to regional security and stability, always ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation.” [The New York Times, 28 December].
The Pentagon press secretary, George Little, also issued a statement warning Iran against any attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz. Mr. Little, however, added that the US was “unaware of any aggressive or hostile action directed against U.S. ships” at this time [The New York Times, 28 December].
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