Wednesday, February 21, 2007

U.S. Navy buildup came after Iran moves

Feb 20, 2007
Persian Journal

AP - Iran has brought its war games maneuvers over the past year into busy shipping lanes in the Straits of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which two-fifths of the world's oil supplies pass, the top U.S. Navy commander in the Mideast said.

The moves have alarmed U.S. officials about possible accidental confrontations that could boil over into war, and led to a recent build-up of Navy forces in the Persian Gulf, Vice Adm. Patrick Walsh said in an interview with The Associated Press and other reporters.

During maneuvers, Iranian sailors have loaded mines onto small minelaying boats and test-fired a Shahab-3 ballistic missile into international waters, he said.

"The Shahab-3 most recently went into waters very close to the traffic separation scheme in the straits themselves. This gives us concern because innocent passage of vessels now is threatened," Walsh said in the interview Monday on the base of the Navy's Fifth Fleet in the Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain.

Iran tested the Shahab during November maneuvers, More....

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