Iran could carry out “provocative actions” in the Strait of Hormuz and in other locations in the region, acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told Reuters in a report published on Friday.

“I think they’re going to continue to perform provocative actions over there … and I think they’ll look at every opportunity they can to do that,” said Modly without giving details. “There’s nothing that suggests to me, short of a regime change there, that you have a different tone set from the leadership, that would suggest to me that they’re going to stop doing what they’ve been doing.”

“As they start creating mischief over there … our reaction is we send an aircraft carrier over there for 10 months,” he added.

Separately, around 1,500 people were killed during November demonstrations against a fuel-price hike in Iran, three Iranian interior ministry officials told Reuters.

Washington blamed Iran for attacks against oil tankers in the Gulf this past summer and a strike against Saudi Arabian oil facilities in September. The United States has ramped up sanctions on Tehran that has intensified an economic crisis.

Iran’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrunk around 4.8 percent in 2018, and is forecast to drop 9.5 percent in 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The unemployment rate rose from 14.5 percent in 2018 to 16.8 percent in 2019.

Source » jns