The US 5th Fleet said in a statement on Friday that the strike group led by the USS Nimitz and including two guided-missile cruisers and a guided-missile destroyer sailed into the Persian Gulf to operate and train with US partners.
The Nimitz strike group includes the USS Princeton and USS Philippine Sea, both guided-missile cruisers, and the guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett.
“The [carrier strike group] will operate and train alongside regional and coalition partners, and provide naval aviation support to Operation Inherent Resolve,” read the statement.
“The Nimitz Strike Group has been operating in the 5th Fleet area of operations since July, and is at the peak of readiness,” strike group commander Rear Admiral Jim Kirk said in a news release.
“We will continue our support to the joint force while we operate from the (Persian) Gulf alongside our regional and coalition partners,” he added.
The United States regularly sends aircraft carrier groups into the Persian Gulf. But the Nimitz strike group is the first carrier to operate in the Persian Gulf since USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) made the Strait of Hormuz transit in November 2019.
This comes just days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to enforce an arms embargo and “UN” sanctions against Iran, despite nearly the entire UN Security Council saying Washington does not have the grounds to do so.
On Tuesday, Pompeo said that the US would not allow Iran purchasing Chinese and Russian military equipment, despite Iran’s stern warning against Washington’s “dangerous” defiance of international law.
“We are going to act in a way — and we have acted in a way — that will prevent Iran from being able to purchase Chinese tanks and Russian air defense systems and resell weapons to Hezbollah,” Pompeo said.
And on Wednesday, Pompeo vowed that the United States would return to the UN to have the sanctions re-imposed on Iran next week.
“We’ll do all the things we need to do to make sure that those sanctions are enforced,” he said.
On Thursday, Washington’s representative to the Geneva Disarmament Conference Robert Wood accused Iran of backing terrorism and said that the US seeks to extend a United Nations ban on Tehran despite its expiration in October under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran nuclear deal in 2015.
Nabi Azadi, the political adviser to Iran’s Permanent Mission to Geneva, rejected the US accusations, saying that such a move violates Resolution 2231 and amounts to an attempt to destroy multilateral bodies such as the UN after Washington failed to gain international backing to extend the embargo at the Security Council in August.
Azadi said US President Donald Trump’s repeated threats of using force against Iran are provocative and in violation of the UN Charter about prohibition of threat or use of force or serious threat to international peace and security.
The Iranian representative warned against serious consequences of Washington’s irresponsible policies and illegal actions, saying that Tehran will swiftly respond in kind to any act of aggression against the nation, sovereignty, territorial integrity and its national interests.
Azadi also slammed US accusations of terrorism, saying Washington is the one which is supporting terrorists.
The Iranian representative referred to remarks made by Trump and Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton admitting to the US role in creating terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Daesh.