Iran taunted the United States Tuesday with a statement by its army chief, warning an American aircraft carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf.

Gen. Ataollah Salehi spoke as a 10-day Iranian naval exercise ended Tuesday.

The official IRNA news agency quoted Salehi as saying: "We recommend ... to the American warship that passed through the Strait of Hormuz and went on to the Gulf of Oman, not to return to the Persian Gulf… since we are not in the habit of repeating a warning and we warn only once.”

He added, “Our actions in the sea are neither passive nor aggressive, but are rather aimed at training in free waters and safeguarding the interests of Iran and Islamic countries."

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet has said that USS John C. Stennis and another vessel headed out from the Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz last Tuesday, after a visit to Dubai's Jebel Ali port.