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Report: Pentagon planning Navy buildup as 'warning to Iran'

Mike Sheehan
Published: Tuesday December 19, 2006
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The U.S. military is "planning a major buildup" of its naval forces in the Persian Gulf region "as a warning to Iran," reports CBS News, as quoted by Reuters.

A senior official in the Department of Defense said "the report was 'premature' and appeared to be drawing 'conclusions from assumptions,'" according to Reuters. The Pentagon declined comment, but an additional Defense official described the report as "speculative."

CBS said that "the buildup ... was not aimed at an attack on Iran but to discourage what U.S. officials view as increasingly provocative acts by Tehran."

The buildup will reportedly begin in January. Should it occur, it would validate earlier speculation (at RAW STORY and elsewhere) that the Bush administration could use the might of the U.S. military to stymie Iran's nuclear aspirations.

RAW's Larisa Alexandrovna reported last September that "a military intelligence official described ... the movement of Naval submarines and a deployment order sent out to Naval assets of strategic import, such as minesweepers, that could indicate contingency planning is already under way to secure oil transport routes and supplies."

The CBS News video regarding the report can be viewed here. (Note: An ad precedes the report.) The Reuters alert can be read here.