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US Navy official says forces prepared to combat possible Iran attack

Washington, Mon, 13 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb 13(ANI): A top U.S. Navy official has said that he is aware of Iran's military capabilities, but stressed that his forces are prepared to confront any Iranian aggression in the region.


Vice Admiral Mark Fox, the commander of the 5th Fleet, said the US Navy has "built a wide range of potential options to give the president" and is "ready today" to combat any Iranian attack.


"We've developed very precise and lethal weapons that are very effective, and we're prepared. We're just ready for any contingency," Fox News quoted Fox, as saying.


He did not outline specifically how the Navy would counter Iranian attack, though any response would likely involve the two U.S. aircraft carriers and other warships cruising the waters off Iran.


His statement came in the wake of Iran stepping up threats to close the Strait of Hormuz if the country's oil exports are blocked. A fifth of the world's oil supply passes through the narrow waterway, which is only about 30 miles (50 kilometers) across at its narrowest point.


Fox admitted that Iran's military is "capable of striking a blow" against American forces in the Gulf, particularly using unconventional means such as small attack boats or mines laid along shipping lanes.


But he added that he has reminded officers under his command that they "have a right and an obligation of self defense" if attacked.


The admiral's comments echo Western officials' view that they will respond swiftly to any Iranian attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz.


General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, had earlier acknowledged that Iranian forces could block shipping through the strait "for a period of time," but added, "We can defeat that."(ANI)


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