Friday, May 11, 2007
Cheney warns Iran to keep sea lanes open
"ABOARD USS JOHN C. STENNIS - From an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, Vice President Dick Cheney warned Iran on Friday the U.S. and its allies will keep it from restricting sea traffic as well as from developing nuclear weapons.
"We'll keep the sea lanes open," Cheney said from the hangar deck of the USS John C. Stennis as it steamed about 150 miles from the Iranian coast.
Cheney is touring the Middle East asking Arab allies to do more to help Iraq and to curb Iran's growing power in the region.....
The vice president made clear the United States' intentions on the rivalry. "We'll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region," he said......
With two U.S. carrier groups now in the region, the vice president declared, "We're sending clear messages to friends and adversaries alike. We'll keep the sea lanes open."
The carrier was in the Gulf about 20 miles off Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Cheney is spending time there after a two-day tour of Iraq.
Standing in front of five F18 Super Hornet fighters and a huge American flag in the cavernous hangar deck — one flight below the carrier's flight deck — Cheney sounded a hard line both on holding firm in Iraq and confronting Iran if necessary.....
"We'll stand with our friends in opposing extremism and strategic threats. We'll disrupt attacks on our own forces," he added. U.S. officials have said that some of the sophisticated roadside bombs used against U.S. troops in Iraq have come from Iran......"