Iran's Army Commander has warned the US against returning its aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf.
The USS John C. Stennis is one of the US navy's biggest warships. The nuclear-powered vessel carries around three thousand and three-hundred personnel mostly air crew. The carrier passed between Forouzan oil platforms and Farsi Island close to the area where the Iranian navy was holding its recent 10-day maneuvers.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, Deputy Head of Iran's Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, to further explore the issue. What follows is the transcription of the interview:
Press TV: Does Iran intend to take control of the region's security by warning the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier not to return to the Strait of Hormuz?
Jazayeri: In the name of God. The Islamic Republic of Iran can very well control and safeguard the region and the foreigners need to leave the region. Of course, we have no other claim on what is recommended as the international norm. But at the same time, when it comes to safeguarding our own rights, we are determined and firm. The Americans need to understand and realize this firmness.
Press TV: What changes have occurred in the region that have prompted Iran to make this decision to warn the American vessel against returning to the Persian Gulf?
Jazayeri: The longer the presence of the US forces in the region, unfortunately the more tension and insecurity you can see that is going on the rise and it is possible for tensions to come out for any kind of conflict at any moment. This will raise the possibility. In order to avoid any unpleasant situation and prevent any unpleasant happening, we think that Americans need to leave the region.
Press TV: The American aircraft carrier left the Strait of Hormuz once Iran started its 10-day naval maneuvers. How do you assess that?
Jazayeri: America had to leave the area. Unfortunately, the military doctrine of the West is based on expansionism and hegemony and only when they have to do such things, they will do that.
Press TV: Does Iran plan to control regional security then on its own or with the help of other regional countries?
Jazayeri: Iran on its own is able to control the region, but we have made proposals several times on cooperation and we believe that through the cooperation, a collective cooperation, of the regional states, we will be able to have and restore lasting security in this part of the strategic geography of the world.
Press TV: Iran has said the it is not going to make the same warning twice. The question is what would be Tehran's reaction if the nuclear-powered American vessel returns to the Strait of Hormuz?
Jazayeri: Iran has a variety of equipment and means and ultimately the US will have no option other than leaving the region. That is why we are telling America that now that they have left, they would better not to come back and the responsibility for any possible problems and issues will be shouldered by them.