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US warship remains in Strait Of Hormuz amidst simmering tensions
Paul Joseph Watson
Friday, February 3, 2012
The USS Abraham Lincoln warship has remained stationed in the Strait of Hormuz despite an Iranian threat that no more aircraft carriers should transit the sensitive oil choke point as tensions in the Persian Gulf continue to simmer with Washington warning Tehran it will join an Israeli attack if Iran dares to fight back in any way.
Stratfor’s latest naval update map shows that the USS Lincoln has not moved from its position having transited the Strait almost two weeks ago. Similarly, the USS Carl Vinson has also remained in its position, suggesting US Naval officials are satisfied with the strategic position of the two warships as Israel prepares to launch an attack on Iran in which the US could quickly become embroiled.
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta “believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June,” reports the Washington Post, adding that Panetta was likely told of the timing when Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak postponed a a planned U.S.-Israel military exercise that had been scheduled for May.
It now appears that the United States has almost finalized getting all its ducks in a row in preparation for Israel’s assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Washington Post article makes it clear that the Obama administration will stand by while Tel Aviv leads the attack. The US will only become overtly involved if “Iran hits U.S. assets” or if “Israel’s population centers were hit”.
In other words, if Iran attempts to fight back in any way, which is all but inevitable, the US will join the attack. The Obama administration will then think itself justified in telling the American people that the US acted in self-defense, when in reality such a series of coordinated events is absurdly obvious.
“I can’t say clearly enough that what the U.S. has signaled in Ignatius’ report is that if Iran is attacked, it may not strike back against its attacker,” writes Richard Silverstein. “If it does, the U.S. will rain down hellfire and damnation on it. This is frightening beyond measure. I’ve never known the U.S. to lay down such a principle which virtually assures our joining in a war against Iran. Israeli policymakers will be delighted to read these words.”
Both Washington and Tel Aviv are hoping for a repeat of Operation Orchard, Israel’s attack on a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007 that prompted no significant retaliation from Assad’s regime. However, Iran’s Air Force is second only to Israel’s in the region and Tehran’s surface to air missile capability is far superior.
A third US aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, is set to add even more firepower in the 5th Fleet region after it completes a training exercise in the Atlantic Ocean. British and French warships are also in place to provide further back-up.
It has also been revealed that the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis and the destroyer USS Momsen are likely to heading towards the Persian Gulf in the build up to a possible attack on Iran.
The United States has sent both the Lincoln and the Vinson sailing through the Strait in recent weeks despite Iran’s warning that any more US warships transiting the narrow passageway would not be tolerated. Tehran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, an act that would cause chaos on global oil markets, has been described as a “red line” by the United States.
The US is currently conducting its biggest naval exercises in over a decade. The Bold Alligator joint Navy and Marine Corps exercise, taking place off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina, is clearly geared towards simulating a naval conflict with Iranian forces despite official claims to the contrary.
According to Israeli intelligence outfit Debka File, the United States has placed 50,000 troops to be ready for “any contingency” by March, with another 50,000 on the way, on two two strategic islands at the southern exit of the Strait of Hormuz. In addition, 15,000 troops are also on standby in Kuwait.
Tehran is set to conduct more naval exercises in the Strait later this month. Experts estimate that around 1,000 mines would be required to block the 55km wide passage and that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have already stockpiled 2,000 mines for that very purpose.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.