A picture released by the US Navy 24 May 2007 shows US warships: USS Nimitz (bottom) along with (from top left to right) USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS O'Kane (DDG 77) steaming through the Gulf of Oman. All these ships are part of three different strike groups; the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, and the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, which are on regularly scheduled deployments in support of Maritime Operations. The United States 23 May 2007 threatened new UN sanctions to punish Iran's nuclear drive and urged US allies in Europe and Asia to isolate the defiant Islamic republic. The warning came as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that despite earlier sanctions, Iran continues to enrich uranium -- which can provide fuel for civilian reactors but also make nuclear bombs. The IAEA appraisal intensified tensions as a bristling US armada spearheaded by two aircraft carriers entered Gulf waters to support troops in Iraq and conduct training exercises. The US Navy said the exercises were not directed at Iran, but Mustafa Alani, senior analyst with the UAE-based Gulf Research Center, said it was no coincidence the powerful flotilla arrived on the day of the IAEA report. AFP PHOTO/US NAVY/HO/PAUL J. PERKINS / AFP PHOTO / US NAVY / DENNY C.CANTRELL

November 17, 2017 11:11 PM (UTC+8)