Iranian Ships Fire Rockets as US Aircraft Carrier enters in Persian Gulf

A US aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis sailed into the Persian Gulf on Friday amid Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz.

Some 30 Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels fired rockets in the waters patrolled by a US aircraft carrier strike group led by USS John C. Stennis on Friday, AP reported. At one point, one small ship launched what looked like a “commercial-grade” drone to film the US vessels, the media outlet wrote, adding that journalists on the Stennis were also filming the Iranian boats.

“The Iranian craft drove in front of our ship and stopped, and tried to capture their own sort of picture of what was going on”, Capt. Randy Peck, the commanding officer of the Stennis, was cited by AP as saying.

Related link: Two Iranian fast boats approached the US Wasp-class amphibious assault ship

Earlier on Friday, Mehr News Agency quoted Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of IRG ground forces, as saying that the final stage of the “Great Prophet 12” drills would kick off on Saturday and include “rapid reaction units, airborne units, demolition and combat units, mid-range missiles and the third marine division”.

“We pose no threat to any country but if the enemies seek to implement their malicious intentions and attack us, we will be absolutely aggressive and attack the enemies with all might and we are practising these tactics in these exercises”, Mehr News Agency cited Pakpour as saying.

The Navy invited journalists to ride on the nuclear-powered Stennis, whose homeport is Bremerton, Washington, as it transited the Strait of Hormuz. The strait at its narrowest point is 33 kilometers (21 miles) wide, in the waters between Iran and Oman.

Related link: Why Iranian speedboats chase U.S Super-carrier USS Roosevelt?

“We are trying to be more operationally unpredictable,” said Lt. Chloe Morgan, a spokeswoman for US’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. “Now we’re switching it up because our adversaries are watching closely. We want to be operationally unpredictable to our enemies, but strategically predictable to our partners.”

A US aircraft carrier sailed into the Persian Gulf on Friday, becoming the first since America’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and breaking the longest carrier absence in the volatile region since at least the September 11 terror attacks.

Related link: Video of Iran destroying a mock US aircraft carrier in naval drills

Tensions between the two countries have further escalated since US President Donald Trump announced the decision to withdraw from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, which saw anti-Iran sanctions lifted in exchange for Tehran maintaining the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.

Iranian Ships Fire Rockets as US Aircraft Carrier enters in Persian Gulf

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