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US aircraft carrier sails close to Iran coast as tensions mount
The US Navy said the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier passed through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf region, Reuters reported.
Washington has sent thousands of more troops and military hardware to the Gulf region after strikes, blamed on Iran, on Saudi oil facilities and shipping around the Strait of Hormuz.
The deployment of the carrier was a show Washington's "commitment" to freedom of navigation, the Pentagon said, amid tensions with Tehran.
The Strait of Hormuz, straddled between Iran and Arab Gulf states, is a strategically-significant region where around a third or a fifth of the of the world's oil passes through.
In June, two foreign tankers were attacked in Gulf waters, with Iran put forward as a culprit, while in the same month Tehran downed a US drone.
Saudi Aramco facilities were attacked with drones and missiles in September, an event that sent shockwaves through the kingdom. Iran was again blamed for the attacks.
The events come after heightened tensions when the US pulled out of a nuclear deal with Iran last year and slapped tough sanctions on the country.
Iran has been hit by protests after the government raised petrol prices.
Agencies contributed to this story.