07:53 GMT +319 November 2018
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    Iranian Navy boats take part in maneuvers during the Velayat-90 navy exercises in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran (File)

    On Alert: US Navy Predicts 'Uncertainty' in Persian Gulf Amid Iran Deal Tensions

    © AFP 2018 / EBRAHIM NOROOZI / JAMEJAM ONLINE
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    The US Navy chief has said that they have detected no provocative Iranian activity in the Persian Gulf since President Trump's announcement about the White House's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

    Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said that the Navy is keeping a watchful eye on Iran's moves in the Gulf following Washington's exit from a global nuclear agreement with Tehran.

    "It is a period of uncertainty that we are entering into right now, how the whole world will respond to this latest development. [We have to] remain alert, I mean even a little bit more alert than usual to just be open to any kind of response or new development or something like that," he pointed out.

    READ MORE: US Military Wary of Cyberattacks From Iran After Nuclear Deal Exit — Reports

    At the same time, Richardson noted that "no provocative" activity on Tehran's part has been tracked in the Gulf since Washington's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

    When announcing Washington's decision to withdraw from the deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 8, US President Donald Trump also pledged to reinstate the sanctions imposed upon Iran that had been lifted as a result of the agreement.

    READ MORE: Iran Deal Crisis Leaves Transatlantic Alliance in Tatters

    In March, William Urban, spokesman for US Naval Forces Central Command, underscored that there have been no "unsafe and unprofessional" actions by Iranian naval forces in the Gulf since August 2017, when the so-called Iranian "provocations" in the area abruptly stopped.

    "It seems like they've absolutely made a conscious decision to give us more space. That is definitely a change in their behavior," Urban said.

    Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard commanders in Tehran, Iran, file photo.
    © AP Photo / Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader
    He recalled that previously, the Iranians had occasionally staged high-speed approaches towards US ships that were seen as risky and provocative.

    The EU and the P5+1 group of countries, including China, Germany, France, Russia, the US and the UK, signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015. 

    The deal stipulates a step-by-step lifting of anti-Iranian sanctions in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program and allowing inspections to ensure that the nature of the program is purely peaceful.

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