The commander of the Iranian Armed Forces said on Wednesday that Iran has notified the two U.S. aircraft carriers deployed in the Persian Gulf that they are not allowed to stop in certain areas of the Persian Gulf designated by Iranian naval forces, MNA reported.
"We had previously notified them that they must not stop in the areas of the Persian Gulf which are considered areas of threat for us, and they heeded the warning," Major General Ataollah Salehi said in an interview with the Persian service of the Fars News Agency published on Wednesday.
He also said that the passage of U.S. aircraft carriers through the Persian Gulf is only a "publicity stunt" that has no military value.
Salehi added, "They are soft targets for us."
The Associated Press reported on April 9 that the U.S. Navy has deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf amid rising tensions with Iran over its nuclear program.
According to the report, Commander Amy Derrick-Frost of the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet said on the same day that the deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise along the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group marks only the fourth time in the past decade that the Navy has had two aircraft carriers operating at the same time in the region.