US keeps Navy aircraft carrier in Persian Gulf as Iran tensions rise

Secretary of defense Christopher Miller cited in his decision “recent threats issued by Iranian leaders against President Donald Trump and other U.S. government officials.”

By Associated Press

In a further sign of U.S.-Iranian tension, the acting secretary of defense, Christopher Miller, announced Sunday evening that he has changed his mind about sending the Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz, home from the Middle East.

Instead, Miller said he will keep the vessel on duty.

Just last week, Miller announced that he was sending the Nimitz home, a decision that had been opposed by senior military officers.

In reversing himself, Miller cited “recent threats issued by Iranian leaders against President Donald Trump and other U.S. government officials.” He did not elaborate, and the Pentagon did not respond to questions.

The announcement arrived on the heels of a massive fire  in a warehouse where fuel and gas canisters were stored along the border between Lebanon and Syria, which injured seven people and caused loud explosions, the Lebanese Red Cross and army said.

Sunday’s fire started while Israeli jets were flying low over Lebanon and as the head of Hezbollah was delivering a speech to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the U.S. killing of an Iranian general in Iraq, who was also a major ally of the Lebanese terror group.

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