View Full Version : Cheney Offers New Warning For Iran: Keep Sea Lanes Open

05-11-2007, 11:03 AM
Cheney offers new warning to Iran: Keep sea lanes open


Published: Friday May 11, 2007

Vice President Dick Cheney fired a new warning shot across the bow of the Persian nation of Iran Friday, saying the United States would prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons.

Aboard an aircraft carrier some four years after President Bush declared victory in "major" Iraq combat operations, Cheney declared, "We're sending clear messages to friends and adversaries alike. We'll keep the sea lanes open."

The US has two aircraft carriers in the region.

AP notes that "Iran exerts considerable control over the narrow passageway that separates the Persian Gulf from the open waters of the Arabian Sea. Roughly a quarter of the world's oil supplies pass through the Straits of Hormuz."

As Cheney spoke, Iran was 150 miles to the East, with the carrier some 20 miles off the United Arab Emirates' Abu Dhabi. "Cheney's visit comes just two days before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was to visit Abu Dhabi," according to AP.

Officials told reporters that roughly 4,000 of the carrier's 5,000 sailors stood in 100-degree temperatures to hear Cheney speak. The US' second in command arrived and departed by helicopter.

Also Friday, Iran denied claims it had blocked UN inspectors from making a first unannounced inspection of an underground nuclear site, despite a pledge to allow such visits, state news agency IRNA reported.

"We deny it. There is no problem with the visits by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors based on the Non-Proliferation Treaty," Iran's representative to the UN watchdog.

On Thursday, diplomats told AFP Tehran had reneged on a pledge to allow an unannounced test inspection of the site, where it enriches uranium.

Iran is defying UN demands for it to stop enriching uranium, which makes fuel for nuclear power reactors but can also produce the explosive core of atomic bombs.

As a result, the UN Security Council has imposed two sets of limited sanctions on Iran. A negative IAEA report could lead to a third round of sanctions.