01:32 GMT16 July 2020
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    The USS John C. Stennis carrier strike group arrived in the Persian Gulf on 21 December, ending a period of absence by US forces in the area, which lasted since at least 2001. On its way the US carrier was shadowed by Iranian Revolutionary Guard ships, which, according to some reports, test fired rockets, although away from US carrier.

    Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari labelled the US decision to send its USS John C. Stennis carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf as "deceiving" regional states, Fars News reported on 23 December.

    "The presence of this fleet of warships is aimed at deceiving the regional states and pretending that they establish security for these countries […] We hope that these countries will not be fooled by the enemy", he said.

    In turn, his colleague, IRGC Navy Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri denied earlier reports about Iranian ships firing rockets near the USS John C. Stennis, as it ventured into the Persian Gulf. He slammed this information as "propaganda" and accused the US of spreading lies. Tangsiri added that Iranian ships merely monitored the movements of the US carrier and its strike group.

    The USS John C. Stennis carrier strike group arrived in the Persian Gulf on 21 December after a prolonged period of the absence by US forces in the region, which lasted since around 2001. Its arrival was preceded by warnings sounded by Iran, which threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz — the only maritime exit from the Persian Gulf and a corridor for a 1/3 of the world's oil exports.

    READ MORE: US to Resort to Use of Force if Iran Blocks Strait of Hormuz — Ex-CIA Officer

    According to an earlier report by The Wall Street Journal, the USS Stennis is expected to stay in the region for around two months to "provide a deterrence" against any potentially hostile Iranian activity in the waters.


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    propaganda, conflict, USS John Stennis, Iran, United States, Persian Gulf
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