This morning we reported on the Iranian ballistic missile test firing with the added punctuation that the exercises were intended as a show of force to Israel and the United States. The last paragraph of that report included information regarding the April deployment of Stealth F-22 Raptors to an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran’s mainland at the United Arab Emirates’ Al Dafra Air Base, just a short distance over the Persian Gulf from Iran’s southern border.
It’s now been learned that the U.S. has much more than just the Raptors in the vicinity as reported by the New York times today:
According to that report the U.S. buildup is significant and is to ensure continued passage through the Straight of Hormuz, a key oil choke point vital to the worlds supply of petroleum and a privilege that Iran has threatened to complicate if the U.S. and other U.N. partners didn’t back down from sanctions and military posturing on behalf of Israel. The firepower is also suspected to be a countermeasure to Iran’s resistance in complying with U.N. restrictions on it’s nuclear ambitions, which boasts uranium levels in violation of accepted tolerances for producing electricity.
The Times cited senior officials as saying the quiet build-up was aimed at reassuring Israel that Washington is serious about addressing Iran’s nuclear program. “The message to Iran is, ‘Don’t even think about it,‘” it quoted a senior Defense Department official as saying.
“Don’t even think about closing the strait. We’ll clear the mines. Don’t even think about sending your fast boats out to harass our vessels or commercial shipping. We’ll put them on the bottom of the Gulf.“
Eight naval vessels currently reside in the region and as previously reported the F-22 Raptors and older F-15C war birds have entered the theater to reinforce existing carrier strike groups.
The United States has recently ramped up unilateral sanctions to unprecedented levels against Iran in an attempt at diplomacy but Iran has resisted, claiming it’s uranium enrichment program was for civilian benefit only with the intention of producing electricity and was hence not the business of the international community.
While senior political talks between the countries involved have thus far failed, Iran and the P5+1 group comprising the five UN Security Council permanent members (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany) plan to hold an experts-level meeting in Istanbul to discuss the dispute.