01:09 GMT +323 March 2019
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    The guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut that was sent to a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship after the latter was boarded  by Iranian forces in the Gulf.

    US Navy Beefs Up Presence in Gulf

    © REUTERS / Aaron Chase/US Navy/Handout
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    US warships protecting American-flagged ships in the Strait of Hormuz may offer greater protection to other nations’ vessels after reports of Iranian forces allegedly harassed shipping lanes, officials said Friday.

    The expanded US naval presence is meant to show Tehran that Washington is ready to safeguard shipping along the vital corridor, even at a moment of delicate diplomacy with Tehran over its nuclear program, experts said, Agence France-Presse reported.

    American warships started "accompanying" US-flagged vessels in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday after commercial vessels were allegedly coerced or harassed by Iran's Revolutionary Guards less than a week ago.

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter approved the operation, with Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren saying "this is going to continue for an indefinite period of time."


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