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Iran says U.S. presence in Gulf "not new issue"

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 21, 2012 4:28 AM
Iran says U.S. presence in Gulf "not new issue"

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Saturday it considered the deployment of U.S. warships to the Gulf as part of routine activity, apparently backing away from previous warnings to Washington not to enter the area.

"U.S. warships and military forces have been in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East region for many years and their decision in relation to the dispatch of a new warship is not a new issue and it should be interpreted as part of their permanent presence," IRGC Deputy Commander Hossein Salami told the official IRNA news agency.

(Reporting by Hashem Kalantari; Writing by Robin Pomeroy; editing by Tim Pearce)