US Navy denies Iran claims over sub
By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
Manama: The US Navy yesterday denied claims that one of its nuclear submarines was forced to leave the Arabian Gulf after Iran protested that it had contaminated the waters.
"The Los Angeles-class attack submarine Newport News left the Arabian Gulf after it successfully completed sea trials in February proving that the submarine was ready for the approximately 9,000 mile transit back to its homeport," Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, Commander of the US Fifth Fleet, yesterday told Gulf News.
"Safety is always of paramount concern to all professional mariners operating in and around the Gulf. That is why we conducted rigorous sea trials for Newport News in connection with her departure from the Gulf to ensure her return to homeport in the US would be safe and uneventful," he said.
According to the Navy's top man in Bahrain, the Newport News left in early March. The fast-attack submarine has already been replaced, he said. The Newport News received temporary repairs to its bow in Bahrain following a collision with a Japanese tanker on January 8 near the Strait of Hormuz.
Iranian television said yesterday that while in Bahrain the Newport News had leaked chemical and radioactive substances into the Arabian Gulf. "The incident has provoked Iranian officials who warned Bahrain of the environmental consequences of allowing the damaged submarine to remain in the Gulf," it said.
US sub forced from Persian Gulf
Wed, 11 Apr 2007 11:10:57
A U.S. nuclear submarine has been forced to leave the Persian Gulf after Iranian officials protested that the vessel has contaminated the waters.
The USS Newport News originally suffered substantial damage after colliding with a Japanese tanker near the Straits of Hormuz on January 8.
The vessel was transferred to Bahrain for temporary repairs, where chemical and radioactive substances have reportedly leaked from the American nuclear submarine into the Persian Gulf.
The incident has provoked Iranian officials, including the commander of the Iranian navy, who warned Bahrain of the environmental consequences of allowing the damaged submarine to remain in the Persian Gulf.
The environmental committee of Iran's parliament has also placed on its agenda an investigation into the incident.
The U.S. navy has since removed the USS Newport News from the Persian Gulf region for a complete overhaul.