Iran's supreme leader warns US to stay out of Persian Gulf

Iran's supreme leader on Monday warned the U.S. military to stay out of the Persian Gulf, where it has an aircraft carrier strike group.   

"What are you doing here? Go back to the Bay of Pigs. Go and hold exercises there. What are you doing in the Persian Gulf? The Persian Gulf is our home," said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to semi-official news agency Fars News. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The comments came as the U.S. Navy extended the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the region in support of the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 

Khamenei also said Tehran would continue military drills in the region, regardless of U.S. opposition. The two nations both operate in the Persian Gulf, which Iran considers its backyard. 

The two nations have had run-ins, including in January when 10 U.S. sailors aboard two boats drifted into Iran's territorial waters and were detained. 

"Today, the enemies utter words bigger than their mouths; for instance they develop plans to bring to a halt Iran's military wargames in the Persian Gulf, what a foolish remark," Khamenei said at a gathering of teachers. 

"The Persian Gulf is the Iranian nation's home and the Persian Gulf and a large section of the Sea of Oman belong to this powerful nation; therefore, we should be present in the region, hold wargames and display our power and it is the Americans who should say why they have come from that side of the world and stage drills in here," he added. 

U.S. military leaders have pledged to keep an eye on Iran despite the international nuclear deal Iran and six powers agreed to last July.