After Iran threat, U.S. aircraft carrier goes through Strait of Hormuz without incident
January 24, 2012 -- Updated 1042 GMT (1842 HKT)
The USS Abraham Lincoln, at left with the John Stennis in the Arabian Sea, moved through the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday.
- The USS Abraham Lincoln heads into the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy says
- British and French ships accompany the U.S. carrier group, Britain's military says
- Iran had threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz
- The U.S. defense secretary says the U.S. will continue to have a presence in the Gulf
(CNN) -- Flanked by British and French ships, the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier moved through the Strait of Hormuz without incident Sunday despite recent threats from Iran.
The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement that the Lincoln "completed a regular and routine transit of the strait ... to conduct maritime security operations." The Lincoln is in the region with the USS Carl Vinson, giving the U.S. Navy its standard two-carrier presence there.
A British defense ministry spokesman, who was not named per policy, said Sunday that the "HMS Argyll and a French vessel joined a U.S. carrier group" going through the strait "to underline the unwavering international commitment to maintaining rights of passage under international law."
"Britain maintains a constant presence in the region as part of our enduring contribution to Gulf security," the spokesman said.
Ramping up pressure on Iran
Tensions rise in the Strait of Hormuz
Several weeks ago, as the USS John Stennis left the Persian Gulf and headed back to the western Pacific, Iranian officials warned the United States not to send in another carrier.
"We have always stated that there is no need for the forces belonging to the countries beyond this region to have a presence in the Persian Gulf," Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said in early January, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency. "Their presence does nothing but create mayhem, and we never wanted them to be present in the Persian Gulf."
Tehran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the only outlet to and from the Persian Gulf between Iran and the United Arab Emirates as well as Oman, as Iran faces increased scrutiny over its nuclear program and possible sanctions on its oil exports. The critical shipping lane had 17 million barrels of oil per day passing through in 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has responded by threatening to "respond" if Iran attempts to shut down traffic. He said that the U.S. naval and military presence in the region will not change and the current level is sufficient to deal with any situation that could arise.
"We have always maintained a very strong presence in that region," Panetta said earlier this month. "We have a Navy fleet located there. We have a military presence in that region. And ... we have continually maintained a strong presence in the region to make very clear that we were going to do everything possible to help secure the peace in that part of the world."
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.