The United States is set to lead a joint military exercise in the Atlantic Ocean to show off its combat capabilities as a warning to Iran.
The Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 08-4 ‘Operation Brimstone’ will take place on July 21-31 in North Carolina and off the eastern US coast from Virginia to Florida, involving France, Britain and Brazil.
More than a dozen ships, including the US carrier strike group Theodore Roosevelt and expeditionary strike group Iwo Jima, the French submarine Amethyste, and the British HMS Illustrious Carrier Strike Group, as well as a Brazilian frigate will take part in the 10-day exercise.
Six vessels from the US Norfolk Naval State will play enemy at the exercise.
The drill is aimed at training for operation in shallow coastal waters such as the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
According to the Debkafile, both the Roosevelt and Iwo Jima are scheduled to be deployed in the Middle East in the coming months.
While Israel and the US claim to be committed to a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear standoff with the West, they have repeatedly threatened to launch a military strike against Iran should it continue to enrich uranium.
Following nuclear talks in Geneva on a package of incentives recently presented to Iran requiring the country to suspend uranium enrichment, Washington warned Tehran to choose between ‘confrontation’ and meeting Western demands over its enrichment program.
In response to growing threats from Israel and the US, Iran test-fired nine long and medium-range missiles to demonstrate the country’s defensive military capabilities.
Tehran insists that its nuclear program is directed at generating electricity for a growing population and is in line with its rights under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).