President Donald Trump was the one who stopped the departure of the Nimitz aircraft carrier from the Middle East, CNN reported, Monday.
CNN quoted a senior US Defense Department official (it did not name him) as saying that “President Donald Trump directed acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller to reverse course and order a US aircraft carrier to return to the Middle East following a White House meeting Sunday.”
Trump’s directives are a reversal of the Pentagon’s decision, last week, to withdraw the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier from the Gulf region, in part to send a signal of calm to Iran, amid mounting tensions between Washington and Tehran.
The Pentagon official added that “Miller’s idea of de-escalation has not been adopted as an official policy.”
The White House and the National Security Council did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
On Sunday evening, Chris Miller, Acting Secretary of Defense, said in a statement that the “USS Nimitz” aircraft carrier would remain in the Gulf due to recent threats issued by Iranian leaders against (US) President Donald Trump and other US government officials.
The move came amid threats from the Iranian government, coinciding with the first anniversary of the killing of the former Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, on January 3, 2020, in an American raid in Iraq.
The aircraft carrier “USS Nimitz” has been patrolling the Gulf waters since late November, with the aim of providing combat support and air cover with the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, US media revealed, on Thursday, that Miller had ordered the aircraft carrier to return to its base in the United States.