A US aircraft carrier has sailed through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf, despite threats by Iran of unspecified action if US carriers entered the strategic waterway.
The Navy’s 5th Fleet said in a statement that the carrier Abraham Lincoln passed through the narrow waterway into the Persian Gulf "without incident," the LA Times reported.
The ship was accompanied by British and French naval vessels, a move that officials said was intended to show international support for keeping open the strait, a choke point through which 20 percent of the world’s oil passes.
Tensions between Iran and the U.S. and its allies have intensified in recent months, with Washington preparing new sanctions against Iran, according to VOA.
Agence France-Presse, meantime, reported that the EU was set to place an embargo on Iran's oil exports Monday, urging Tehran ahead of time to "return to the negotiating table."
The measures come amid heightened concerns of confrontation following reports by the UN atomic agency, the IAEA, that Tehran is inching ever closer to building nuclear weapons.
Iran upped the ante last month by conducting naval maneuvers in the Persian Gulf and threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz.
After the US redeployed the carrier John C. Stennis to the waterway, Iran warned the Pentagon against sending another ship to the region.
(GlobalPost reports: Strait of Hormuz: US warns Iran to keep the waterway open)
However, according to VOA, Iranian officials backed down from their threat Saturday, calling the routine appearance of a U.S. carrier a normal event.