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by
Bridget Johnson

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February 10, 2014 - 3:02 pm

The White House brushed off Iran’s claim that it’s moving warships toward America’s maritime borders.

“The Iranian Army’s naval fleets have already started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via the waters near South Africa,” Commander of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad announced on Saturday, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” Haddad added.

The news agency added that Iran’s has been vowing to send “a flotilla into the Atlantic” since 2011, but this claim takes on an added dimension with the concessions just granted to Tehran by the U.S. in nuclear talks.

The Fars report said the recent moves are a tit-for-tat, getting back at Washington for its beefed-up presence in the Persian Gulf.

“There was an Iranian announcement that they are moving ships close to the United States, and we have no evidence that Iran is, in fact, sending ships close to the U.S. border,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters today.

On the reports that Iran has also been successfully conducting missile tests, Carney said “we have been clear that even as we work with the P5+1 to test the hypothesis that Iran is ready to meet its obligations to the international community with regards to its nuclear program, that we are at odds with Iran on a number of issues.”

When pressed again on whether he was disputing the warships report, Carney quipped, “Is Fox reporting that they’re moving warships closer to the U.S.?”

He was reminded that Iran made the claim, and it was reported by several wire services.

“Again, I don’t have a specific answer to that report. I’m sure we can get it to you, and I’m sure State has it. What I can tell you is that we continue to have major disagreements with Iran, and we press very hard, whether it’s their support for international terrorism, for Hezbollah, or whether it’s enforcement of existing sanctions,” Carney said. “We are not letting up on Iran, on a wide variety of issues where we are profoundly in disagreement with them and have rallied an international consensus around that fact.”

The State Department did not comment on the report at today’s press briefing.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Obama, negotiating from behind.

Russia punks him, China Punks him, Syrai punks him, and now Iran punks him.

Being a weakling certainly has its benefits. It flushes enemy intentions out in the open.

23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Carney. Would somebody please give him a wedgie, steal his lunch money, and shut him up in his locker?

You mean like Putin did to Obama?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Carney. Would somebody please give him a wedgie, steal his lunch money, and shut him up in his locker?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
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In 1988 I was in the USS Enterprise Battle Group that encountered some Iranian Naval assets in the Straits of Hormuz during Operation Preying Mantis. To put it simply, U.S. 1, Iran 0. The Iranians deeply desire to be a major player on the worlds stage. They're not there yet.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
The contempt in which the WH holds the American people becomes more evident every time Carney speaks.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jay Carney needs to grow up.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am so impressed with Jay Carney. Either he is certifiably looney-toons, or he is getting paid insane amounts of money to look a fool each and every day. That, or the administration found his pressure point, be that an underage hooker, or just the knowledge that he visited one several times...
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Carney makes Baghdad Bob seem like the very picture of reliability....
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
OK, everyone who thinks this means we'll be seeing Iraqi warships off Hyannisport next week, just relax. What this means is that Iran has sent a warship closer to the AMERICAN fleet in Middle Eastern waters. My nephew is on a ship in Bahrain, and believe me, the navy is on top of this.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Iran successfully tested today 2 kinds of missiles- long -range SAM/ATS and a laser guided missile - and the Iranian dep. FM told that Wendy Sherman's testimony in Congress is misleading- Iran is only negotiating in matters nuclear 7 steps program (no Parchin military facility,no Arak heavy water plutonium) saying Iran's missile (defense) is their red line. Iran;s Navy warships set sail in January,2014. Raed http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921121001620 It is not only Obama's WH spokesman diluting Iran's naval (or missile) capability- it is also DoD doubting. Only Israel ,Saudi Arabia,UAE,Jordan, Germany (intel),EU (intel) differ from the 'illusion'- like the Iranians are calling US/Obama/Kerry and EU.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I doubt any Iranian destroyer has the range by itself to get to the east coast of America without refueling unless they don't mean to get back. Their largest frigate (guided missile) is 1500 tons and is diesel powered. The USA's WWII Fletcher class destroyers were 2,500 tons fully loaded and could make it across the Pacific without refueling if they had to but were restrained to making 15 knots for economy reasons - which gave them 5500 miles.

So - the question is who is going to refuel this ship? The US Coastguard?

Reminds me of the gnat biting the elephant. Does the elephant even notice?

Its one thing to say you're going to do something - its an entirely different thing to actually do it. I think this story is a non-starter.


23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
They might be able to refuel in Cuba or some other little nation. Unless they plan something truly reckless like a missile strike or nuclear contamination, this is symbolic. Our Coast Guard is better than their navy. During Reagan's presidency some little Caribbean island (it wasn't Grenada) declared war against the US. Our official response was, "Avoid them." Never learned how it turned out—did they win?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
We are safe just as long as Sinclair gas stations keep on the lookout for any Boghammers.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just envision the Iranian destroyer pulling up to a fishing-boat pier service pump and saying "fill 'er up, please."
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jay Carney is a tool.

What they are taking the long way to the Mediterranean?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
If their path through the Suez Canal is blocked, there are only two routes: around the Horn of Africa to the US eastern coast, or the Asian route across the Pacific. Iranian warships weren't allowed to pass under Mubarak, but they were under Morsi. Now that Egypt is under military leadership again, I suspect they're blocked again.

Reportedly, this Iranian "fleet" consists of an old frigate and a supply ship, neither of which has much range so must be repeatedly refueled along the way. As battleships they're no match for the US navy. Heck, even the Egyptian Navy could take them out. They may however be carrying weapons destined for Venezuela or Cuba. And one day an Iranian ship could be carrying a medium-range missile intended to launch against the Eastern seaboard.

And yes, Carney is a tool. And an embarrassment.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well now, if that is just a Faux news thing we should be worried, as Obumbles doesn't do FNC, so he'll never find out about it. He learns these things from the news, just like every one else
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama, negotiating from behind.

Russia punks him, China Punks him, Syrai punks him, and now Iran punks him.

Being a weakling certainly has its benefits. It flushes enemy intentions out in the open.

23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
add an "s" and you'll be closer to the truth.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Add an "s" to what? I've tried adding "s" to each of the key words in cfbleachers' remarks but don't get what you're implying.

Obamas, punkss, weaklings, flushess?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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