I was at an “event”:http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2006/12/the_coming_crisis.html this afternoon sponsored by CAP and The Century Foundation. Among other topics, the panelists briefly discussed the likelihood of US military action against Iran.
Because US naval deployments to the Persian Gulf region have been cited by “some”:http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061009/lindorff as evidence of an upcoming US strike on Iran’s nuclear-related facilities, I was reminded of a transcript that I recently received of an October Q&A session with reporters conducted by Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Vice Admiral John G. Morgan, Jr.
Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript (emphasis mine):
Q: Can you give us an assessment of the Iranian naval force and shore-based naval weapons and forces? Is it something that concerns the Navy a great deal, a little bit? How much?
A: Bob we watch what’s going on in that region very closely. We study the Iranian naval activity. I have served in that region and I just talked with one of our admirals that works in that region now. The Iranian naval activity that we’ve seen has been very, very professional. There are professional exchanges between the US Navy. We talk to each other. We want to avoid any miscalculation. We want to avoid any form of accident. They are a professional force.
We look at trends as you can imagine. We try to determine if trends are shifting in one direction or another. *Our naval posture in the region has not changed recently.*
Q: Has theirs? Are they mining?
A: Their activity is normal. We’re very encouraged that there are a whole host of nations represented in the region. They’re contributing to that general maritime security. And that’s the current state of play.