dimarts, 11 de febrer de 2014

Iranian Warships; Heading Towards US Waters*

Iran has ordered a number of its ships to approach US maritime borders in response to American vessels operating in the Persian Gulf, according to a naval official.
The Fars news agency reported overnight on Saturday that several ships are already in the Atlantic and are making their way to the edge of US territorial waters.
The agency said it was part of "Iran's response to Washington's beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf."
Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad is reported to have said: "Iran's military fleet is approaching the United States' maritime borders, and this move has a message."
Haddad, described as commander of the Iranian navy's northern fleet, said the vessels had started their voyage across the Atlantic Ocean via "waters near South Africa".
The report could not be confirmed independently.
In Washington, a US defence official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, cast doubt on the claims but added that "ships are free to operate in international waters."
Iran has a small navy, made up mostly of aging vessels at least 35 years old and a handful of home-built newer frigates. Some are fitted with Chinese ship-to-ship missiles.
It came as Iran agreed to start addressing UN nuclear agency suspicions that it may have worked on designing a nuclear weapon.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had agreed during talks in Tehran to take seven new practical measures within three months under a November transparency deal.
On Saturday, Iran's Supreme Leader the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated the country's stance towards the US.
In a speech to mark the 35th anniversary of the 1979 revolution,  he said American officials who claimed they did not want to see regime change in Iran were 'lying'.
He accused Washington of having a "controlling and meddlesome" attitude towards Iran.
America and Iran have had no official ties since 1980 when Iranian students occupied the US embassy in Tehran, taking 52 diplomats hostage.
Despite his apparent hostility, Mr Khamenei has given his guarded support to talks on Iran's nuclear programme being led by the new reformist government of President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The moves are seen as further signs that Iran is determined to exert its influence as an emerging regional economic and strategic power in the Middle East.
*Notícia publicada a Sky News. Curiosa resposta iraniana a la rebaixa de les tensions recentment assolida.

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