The Iranian Navy said today it has recorded video and photographed a U.S. aircraft carrier during Iran's ongoing naval exercises at the Strait of Hormuz.
“An Iranian vessel and surveillance plane have tracked, filmed and photographed a U.S. aircraft carrier as it was entering the Gulf of Oman from the Persian Gulf,” said Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the IRIN commander [IRNA, 29 December].
Adm. Sayyari added that the action shows that Iran has “control over the moves by foreign forces.” The Iranian navy is holding a 10-day exercise on and near the Strait of Hormuz. Adm. Sayyari also said the foreign fleet “will be warned by Iranian forces if it enters the area of the drill.” [IRNA, 29 December].
On Tuesday, the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay headed out from the Persian Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz, after a visit to Dubai's Jebel Ali port. Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. 5th Fleet, described the passage as “a pre-planned, routine transit” for the carrier, which is providing air support from the north Arabian Sea to troops in Afghanistan [AP, 29 December].
Lt. Rebarich described the 5th Fleet’s interaction with the regular Iranian Navy as “within the standards of maritime practice, well known, routine and professional.” [AP, 29 December].