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UK to deploy aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf next spring
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10:34, November 03, 2007

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A British navy aircraft carrier will be deployed in the Persian Gulf next spring, the Daily Telegraph reported on Friday.

The aircraft carrier Illustrious will sail for the highly sensitive waters near Iran accompanied by Edinburgh, a destroyer, and Westminster, a frigate, the report said.

Another two minesweepers and three support vessels will complete the deployment, it reported.

The British presence may coincide with a crucial period in the West's confrontation with Iran, the paper said.

Observers believe that the spring is the last possible moment for U.S. President George W. Bush to order military strikes against Iran's nuclear program, it said.

Imminent presidential elections in the U.S. may make it impossible for Washington to carry out an attack any later, it said.

A spokesman of British Ministry of Defence said the deployment had been "planned for a while."

"The idea is to demonstrate our commitment to maritime security in a strategically very important part of the world," he said.


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