President TrumpDonald TrumpAttorney says census count to determine congressional seats won’t be done until February Trump’s final push for Georgia runoff dominated by personal grievances Trump at Georgia rally says he hopes Pence ‘comes through for us’ MORE ordered Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller last week to reverse bringing the aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz home and keep the vessel in the Middle East, CNN reported on Monday.
The carrier had been ordered last week to return home in a show of de-escalating tensions with Iran.
An unidentified defense official told CNN that Miller’s de-escalation goals had not been formally adopted. The call home took some commanders by surprise, multiple officials told the outlet, and U.S. Central Command also wanted the carrier to remain in the region.
Trump reportedly reversed the decision following a White House meeting Sunday.
Miller said in a Sunday statement that “Due to the recent threats issued by Iranian leaders against President Trump and other U.S. government officials, I have ordered the USS Nimitz to halt its routine redeployment.”
Some U.S. officials were also concerned that Iran could stage an attack on the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and the Iraqui Shia military leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Following the reversal of the aircraft carrier move, Iranian officials said Monday that Tehran has resumed 20 percent uranium enrichment levels that it reached prior to the Obama-era 2015 nuclear agreement that the U.S. left in 2018.
Iran on Monday also seized a South Korean-flagged oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz hours before announcing its nuclear increase, according to multiple reports. The U.S. State Department has called for the tanker’s release.
CNN noted that diplomats and other officials believe that Iranian leaders are aware that the U.S.’s relationship with Iran could drastically change under the incoming Biden administration.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.