According to a CNN local time on the 4th, a senior official of the U.S. Defense Department revealed that U.S. President Trump instructed Acting Defense Secretary Miller to order a U.S. aircraft carrier to change its route and return to the Middle East after Sunday’s White House meeting.
The report pointed out that this decision overturned Miller’s order last week to evacuate the aircraft carrier Nimitz from the Middle East and return to the mainland of the United States.
At a time when tensions between the United States and Iran are escalating, Miller’s order is partly intended to send a signal to Iran to ease.
A Defense Department official said that Miller’s idea was not adopted as a formal and approved policy.
The U.S. Central Command in charge of the Middle East hopes that the aircraft carrier will stay and deter Iran less than three weeks before President-elect Biden takes office.
U.S. officials are particularly concerned that Iran or its proxies may launch some sort of attack on the first anniversary of the Trump administration’s assassination of Iranian General Suleimani and Iraqi Shiite militia leader Abu Mahdi Mohandis on January 3, 2020.
On Sunday, Miller announced that the aircraft carrier would remain in place due to the alleged threat of Iran “againing President Trump and other U.S. government officials”.
Miller said in a statement that he had “ordered the aircraft carrier Nimitz to stop the routine redeployment.” Miller added that the aircraft carrier will now “continue to be stationed in the United States Central Command area of operations”. “No one should doubt the determination of the United States of America,” he said at the time.
In addition to changing the route of the aircraft carrier Nimitz, the United States has also sent bombers with nuclear warheads to the Middle East and announced the deployment of nuclear submarines around the Persian Gulf as a deterrent.
CNN pointed out that Iran responded cautiously on Monday. Iran announced that it had resumed activities to increase enriched uranium enrichment to 20% at an underground nuclear facility.
In addition, a maritime security company said that Iran detained a Korean-flagged tanker. Iranian media reported that the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the ship was polluting the sea and was taken to the shore.
The U.S. State Department said it was tracking reports that Iran detained the tanker.
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department said: “We join South Korea in calling on Iran to release the tanker immediately.”