Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, January 20th, 2019

‘Now We’re Switching It Up’: US Carrier Enters Persian Gulf for 1st Time Since Iran Deal Withdrawal

‘Now We’re Switching It Up’: US Carrier Enters Persian Gulf  for 1st Time Since Iran Deal Withdrawal

WASHINGTON - As the two nations exchange open threats, the Pentagon has sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf, while Iran stages “massive” naval drills in the region, with its fleet surveilling US ships.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS ‘John C. Stennis,’ belonging to the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, arrived in the Persian Gulf on Friday. It became the first American warship of its type to cross the Strait of Hormuz and sail in the waters off the Iranian coast since US President Donald Trump pulled the nation out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program in May.
“We are trying to be more operationally unpredictable,” said the fleet’s spokesperson, Lieutenant Chloe Morgan, according to AP. Noting the months-long absence of a US carrier group in the region, she hinted that this might change.
Reporters on board of the carrier said the ship was closely trailed by around 30 Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels. AP said that the personnel of the boats “could be clearly seen” filming the US ship, and a drone was launched to surveil USS ‘John C. Stennis.’
Israeli media reported that at some point an Iranian ship fired missiles “at a distance” from the American strike group. It is unclear how far from the US ships the alleged shots happened. Tehran’s Navy didn’t respond to these reports, and the Pentagon didn’t comment on whether the Iranian ships had engaged in threatening activities that day.
Washington’s maneuvers are taking place simultaneously with Tehran’s ‘Great Prophet 12’ naval drill. Described as ‘massive’ by Iranian media, the eight-day military exercise involves various ground and naval units operating in the Gulf and in southern Iran. The main phase of the wargame kicked off near Qeshm Island on Saturday, with troops practicing breaching an enemies’ coastal defense.  (Russia Today)