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US aircraft carrier sails through Strait of Hormuz + Related Articles

Monday, January 23, 2012

US aircraft carriers to deliver ‘direct message to Iran’

Aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (AFP Photo / US Navy / Rafael Martie / Handout).

 

US aircraft carrier sails through Strait of Hormuz

A US aircraft carrier has sailed through the Strait of Hormuz and entered the Persian Gulf. Iran has shown no reaction so far.

The US Navy’s 5th fleet based in Bahrain said on Sunday that the USS Abraham Lincoln had completed a regular and routine passage through the strait without incident.

Britain’s Defense Ministry says British and French navy vessels are accompanying the USS Lincoln strike group.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Saturday that his country wants Iran to know that it’s better to try to deal with the United States through diplomacy.

The latest US move came one day after a senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said that a US decision to dispatch a new warship to the Persian Gulf and the Middle East is not a new issue.

Iran had previously warned that it will take action if a US carrier returns to the Persian Gulf.

Iran has also said that it may close the Strait of Hormuz — a key oil shipping gateway, as the US and EU prepare to impose new sanctions over its nuclear program.
The US and its European allies have suggested that they may use military force if Iran blockades the strait.

NHK.

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US aircraft carriers to deliver ‘direct message to Iran’

 

Aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (AFP Photo / US Navy / Rafael Martie / Handout)

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In an apparent show of strength, Washington is deploying a second carrier strike group in the Gulf. US officials also confirmed their commitment to maintaining a global fleet of 11 aircraft carriers despite budget pressure to cut the fleet’s size.

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“That’s the reason we maintain a presence in the Middle East,” AP cited US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, as saying in a speech to about 1,700 sailors aboard the USS Enterprise. “We want them to know that we are fully prepared to deal with any contingency and it’s better for them to try to deal with us through diplomacy.”

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Panetta added that the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise is on course for the Persian Gulf – and will steam through the Strait of Hormuz in a direct message to Iran, AP reports.

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“We’ll continue to make those messages clear. The most important way to make those messages clear is to show that we are prepared, that we are strong, that we’ll have a presence in that part of the world,” Panetta added.

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The USS Enterprise, along with the other six ships in the carrier strike group, will deploy to the Middle East in March. It means the US will maintain two carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf region. The warships are expected to support the country’s battle operations in Afghanistan, its anti-piracy efforts and other missions.

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Meanwhile, Iran claims it is not concerned with the move, saying it is a part of routine activity.

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“US warships and military forces have been in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East region for many years and their decision in relation to the dispatch of a new warship is not a new issue and it should be interpreted as part of their permanent presence,” Revolutionary Guard Deputy Commander Hossein Salami was quoted by the IRNA news agency on Saturday.

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Tensions escalated in the Gulf after Iran warned the US that it might block the Strait, which is a major transit route for global oil supplies, if the West places an embargo on its oil exports.

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Tehran also urged Washington not to send carriers into the Gulf. In return, Washington said it would continue to deploy its ships in the region.

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The USS Enterprise, along with the other six ships in the carrier strike group, will deploy to the Middle East in March. Therefore, the US will maintain two carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf region. The warships are expected to support the country’s battle operations in Afghanistan, its anti-piracy efforts and other missions.

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Next week the EU is set to agree an embargo on Iranian oil. The West expects the sanctions to force Iran to suspend the nuclear weapon activities it is allegedly practicing.

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RT.

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