MANAMA (Reuters) - The U.S. navy has sent a third aircraft carrier to its Fifth Fleet area of operations, which includes Gulf waters close to Iran, the navy said on Tuesday.
"Enterprise (aircraft carrier) provides navy power to counter the assertive, disruptive and coercive behaviour of some countries, as well as support our soldiers and marines in Iraq and Afghanistan," a U.S. Navy statement said.
The move comes weeks after a flotilla of U.S. warships sailed through the narrowest point in the Gulf to hold exercises off Iran's coast in a major show of force.
Tension over Tehran's nuclear ambitions has raised regional fears of a military confrontation. Recent U.S. naval presence in the Gulf has been the largest since the 2003 Iraq war.
The Fifth Fleet area of operations includes the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.