Destination Persian Gulf? US nuclear sub and destroyer enter Red Sea
31 January, 2012
Two ships of the US Navy, the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis and the destroyer USS Momsen have passed through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea. Although their destination is confidential, they are now getting dangerously close to the Persian Gulf.
The ships’ passage was a major operation for the Suez administration as due to safety reasons they had to close off the canal to all other traffic and even shut down the bridge, disrupting the link between the banks for some four hours. The traffic on the roadways alongside the canal was also restricted, Interfax news agency reports.
There are no reports regarding the destination of the vessels, but the news come amid the ongoing crisis in the relationship between the US and Iran. There is mounting speculation that the Annapolis and the Momsen are heading to the Persian Gulf to reinforce the US naval forces already present in the region.
Currently the US has two aircraft carrier groups in the region headed by USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Carl Vinson. It is expected that another aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, will join the strike force in March.
Since the EU placed a new round of sanctions on Iran by putting an embargo on Iranian oil, Iran is once again threatening to use military force to close the Strait of Hormuz.
Meanwhile, a Kuwaiti maritime official said on Monday that the Gulf Cooperation Council group of Arab countries have contingency plans for coastguards and naval forces should there be an attempt by Iran to shut down the Strait of Hormuz.