Two US Navy warships armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles have entered the Persian Gulf with a carrier strike group on stand-by off the coast of Oman, as Washington keeps accusing Tehran of planning to attack “American interests.”
Guided missile destroyers USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) and USS McFaul (DDG-74) transited the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday afternoon, the US Naval Institute (USNI) reported. Their sailing proceeded “without challenge” or “harassment”from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, despite boiling hot tensions between Tehran and Washington, the publication’s defense sources noted.
The two destroyers are now in close proximity to other American warships in the region sent by Washington earlier this month to tackle what the US called “heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and our interests.” No evidence has yet been offered to back up those claims.
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Strike Group, with strategic bombers onboard, stands ready off the coast of Oman, while amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) was off the coast of the United Arab Emirate on Thursday, USNI learned. B-52 bombers have also commenced their air operations from the US base in Qatar as Washington continues to amass its forces.
While the US continues to insist that it does not seek war with Iran, on Wednesday, the State Department ordered the evacuation of non-essential personnel from the US embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil. If the US were to launch a military attack from the sea, USNI News understands that “it would best be able to do so from outside of the Persian Gulf” to keep the American navy further out of reach of Iran’s anti-ship missiles.
Tehran, which called US saber-rattling “psychological warfare,” says the Islamic Republic stands ready to defend itself against any act of aggression but does not consider a war with the US and its allies as “an option.”
“We are not interested in the escalation of tensions in our region, because if something goes wrong, everybody will lose, including Iran, including the US, including all the countries in the region,” Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-e Ravanchi told American outlet National Public Radio.