The US Defense Department has ordered a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to remain in waters near Iran, citing threats from the country.
Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller revealed the order in a statement on Sunday.
The USS Nimitz, which is deployed in the Persian Gulf, was due to leave there soon to return to the United States.
Miller said that halting the carrier's routine redeployment is due to recent threats issued by Iranian leaders against President Donald Trump and other US government officials. He warned Iran, saying that no one should doubt the resolve of the United States.
An NHK reporter says the Pentagon made the decision amid speculation that Iran may launch retaliatory attacks as one year has passed since the US military killed Iran's top military commander Qassem Soleimani.
Meanwhile, Jake Sullivan, US President-elect Joe Biden's incoming national security adviser, told CNN on Sunday that the killing of Soleimani did not make the US safer.
Sullivan stressed the need to curb Iran's nuclear and missile development.