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USS Abraham Lincoln Clears The Strait Of Hormuz

This January 19, 2012 image provided by the US Navy, shows the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transiting the Arabian Sea. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption AFP/Getty Images

This January 19, 2012 image provided by the US Navy, shows the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transiting the Arabian Sea.

AFP/Getty Images

For the second time in recent weeks, the USS Abraham Lincoln has passed through the Strait of Hormuz. If you remember the strait has been central in the diplomatic rift between Iran and the United States.

Reacting to sanctions imposed by the United States and approved by the European Union, Iran has threatened to close the narrow strait through which about 20 perent of the world's oil exports passes through.

The BBC had a reporter on board the vessel and reports that the carrier was shadowed by Iranian patrol boats and one of them came "within about half a mile of the carrier."

The BBC adds:

"The BBC's Jonathan Beale on board the Abraham Lincoln says the U.S. has insisted it will keep the vital shipping lane open. A French warship and U.K. naval vessels accompanied the aircraft carrier in a journey through the strait last month.

"The EU last month banned all oil imports from Iran amid growing concern over Tehran's nuclear programme. Both the U.S. and EU have since lobbied countries around the world to block Iranian oil imports.

"Iran says its nuclear programme is solely for power generation, but Western nations fear Tehran is trying to develop a weapons capability."

The AP reports that USS Abraham Lincoln was escorted by U.S. choppers and "radar operators also picked up an Iranian drone and surveillance helicopter in Iran's airspace near the strait, which is jointly controlled by Iran and Oman."

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