Mike Curtiss (15
Hormuz Against Defying Mullahs"
U.S. carrier crosses Hormuz amid rising Gulf
The Sterett Destroyer escorts the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) during a transit through the Strait
of Hormuz, February 14, 2012. REUTERS-Jumana El Heloueh
An F-A-18 fighter plane (bottom) prepares to launch on the
flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham
Lincoln (CVN 72) during flight operations in the Gulf, ahead of
a transit through the Strait of Hormuz, February 13, 2012.
REUTERS-Jumana El Heloueh
By Warda Al-Jawahiry
STRAIT OF HORMUZ, ON BOARD USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN | Tue Feb 14,
2012 2:45pm EST
(Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group sailed through
the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday more than a month after Iran warned
a different carrier -- USS John C. Stennis -- not to return to
the Gulf as Iranian navy boats sailed by.
Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, used for a
third of the world's seaborne oil trade, if Western moves to ban
Iranian crude exports cripple its energy sector.
Tuesday aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln -- part of the
Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet -- sailed through the strait of
Hormuz with the Cape St George destroyer cruising behind.
"If you listen to the (Iranian) rhetoric ... you might think
that there are some tensions," Admiral Troy Shoemaker, commander
of the carrier strike group nine, told Reuters.
"We obviously pay attention to that as we go through but I think
we are conducting the transit as part of our normal business ...
Our intention is to keep it professional and routine."
Iran is at loggerheads with the West over its disputed uranium
enrichment program. It says its nuclear program is for
The United States, like other Western countries, says it is
prepared to talk to Iran but only if Tehran agrees to discuss
halting its enrichment of uranium. Western officials say Iran
has been asking for talks "without conditions" as a stalling
tactic while refusing to put its nuclear program on the table.
The commander of U.S. naval forces in the Gulf region said
Sunday Iran had built up its naval forces in the Gulf and
prepared boats that could be used in suicide attacks, but the
U.S. Navy could prevent it from blocking the Strait of Hormuz.
Military experts say the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet patrolling the
Gulf - which always has at least one giant supercarrier
accompanied by scores of jets and a fleet of frigates and
destroyers - is overwhelmingly more powerful than Iran's navy.