The U.S. aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln conducted training tests on Saturday in the Arabian Sea to “maintain readiness” and keep strong combat capabilities, according to Commander Michael Boyle.
Commander Boyle noted the needed to “keep strong offensive capabilities” after the aircraft carrier entered the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday, Reuters reported.
As the Abraham Lincoln entered the Strait of Hormuz, where about one-fifth of the world’s oil passes, it encountered an Iranian vessel, but the ships acted professional and both parties were safe, according to Boyle.
Tensions between the two nations are rising, according to Reuters, as the United States blames Iran for bombing an oil field in Saudi Arabia and Iran has become more antagonistic against the United States while simultaneously building up its military, including the possibility of developing a nuclear weapon.
On Sept. 9, Israeli officials accused Iran of developing a nuclear weapon, claiming to have photos of a secret Iranian weapons site.
“Israel has exposed another Iranian violation of their international commitments: the Abadeh Nuclear Weapons Development Site,” Elad Strohmayer, an Israeli embassy spokesman, wrote on Twitter. “We have proof #Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons there, and that they destroyed the site when they realized we discovered it.”
On Sept. 14, there was a coordinated strike using cruise missiles and drones to attack key Saudi Arabian facilities, destroying half of the country’s oil capacity, which is more than 5 million barrels a day. Saudi and U.S. investigators determined “with very high probability” the attack came from an Iranian base.
At the request of Saudi Arabia, the U.S. military sent 200 troops to the kingdom to help secure the region.
Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech on Oct. 13 that the nation needs to developing state-of-the-art weaponry for the country’s paramilitary fighting force, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), in order to prepare to fight its enemies.
“With violent, aggressive, and hostile behavior, the Americans increased the dignity of the IRGC. The enemies of god show hostility to God’s servants, and this hostility makes God’s servants more reputable and estimable,” he said. “You must have all necessary defense, operational and intelligence equipment. However, these instruments must be manufactured and developed at home and meet all the needs of the country on the ground, in the sky and space as well as at sea and borders. Even the cyberspace is among the necessary instruments.”
The Iranian military was also accused of jamming ships’ GPS’s in the Strait of Hormuz as well as disguising their own ships on GPS technology to appear to be shipping vessels in August in order to lure ships into Iranian-controlled waters. U.S. officials at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said this could have lead to potential attacks.
“Due to the heightened regional tensions, the potential for miscalculation or misidentification could lead to aggressive actions against vessels belonging to US, allied and coalition partners operating in the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman,” CENTCOM wrote.