The US deployed a U.S. aircraft carrier Nimitz to the Arab Gulf this week days before the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
In a statement, the Commander Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said on Saturday that the deployment was not related to the Iranian threats of retaliation.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Iranian scientist suspected by the West of masterminding a secret nuclear bomb programme, was killed in an ambush near Tehran on Friday, threatening to provoke a new confrontation between Iran and its foes in the last weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Rebarich said the redeployment was related to a U.S. drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This action ensures we have sufficient capability available to respond to any threat and to deter any adversary from acting against our troops during the force reduction,” she said.
Iran has blamed Israel for the killing of Fakhrizadeh, who died on Friday after gunman ambushed him in his car.
Later on Friday, Iran also wrote in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the U.N. Security Council, stressing that there are “serious indications of Israeli responsibility” in the assassination and that it reserves the right to defend itself.
Iran warned against ” any adventuristic measures ” by the United States, and Israel during the remainder of Donald Trump’s presidency.