US aircraft carrier enters Persian Gulf after long absence

PHILIPPINE SEA - JUNE 18: In this handout provided by the U.S. Navy, a combined formation of aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 pass in formation above the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). The formation included F/A-18 Hornets from the Black Aces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41, the Diamondbacks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, the Eagles of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115, the Royal Maces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27, the Vigilantes of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, and the Warhawks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 97. The Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) are conducting dual aircraft carrier strike group operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. (Photo by Lt. Steve Smith/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

ABOARD THE USS JOHN C. STENNIS IN THE PERSIAN GULF — A U.S. aircraft carrier has sailed into the Persian Gulf, becoming the first since America’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and breaking the longest carrier absence in the volatile region since at least the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The arrival Friday of the USS John C. Stennis comes as Iranian officials have returned to repeatedly threatening to close off the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil traded by sea passes.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels shadowed the aircraft carrier and its strike group. They launched a drone, as well as test-fired rockets away from the aircraft carrier and its strike group.

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