At sea aboard USS John C. Stennis
WAX2002022104 - At sea aboard USS John C. Stennis, Feb. 21, 2002, (UPI) -- An Aviation Boatswain's Mate directs an F/A-18 "Hornet" strike fighter into position over one of the shipÃ•s steam driven catapult systems, awaiting final preparations for launch. John C. Stennis and Carrier Air Wing Nine are conducting combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. cc/US NAVY/Jayme Pastoric UPI
A U.S. Navy vessel in the Persian Gulf helped the crew of a disabled Iranian fishing vessel Wednesday by providing food and water, officials say.
A buildup of Western naval forces in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea is a reaction to Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, military experts say.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi called the U.S. Navy's rescue of 13 Iranian fishermen from Somalia pirates a humanitarian gesture.
The U.S. Navy has rescued 13 Iranians held captive by Somali pirates who seized their fishing vessel in November, the Pentagon said.
Iran's saber rattling is far from over as it scheduled new naval exercises near the Strait of Hormuz, a major choke point for the world's oil tankers.
Europe's move to banning Iranian oil imports has sharpened tensions near the Strait of Hormuz, which Tehran has threatened to block if sanctions are imposed.
Iran's Parliament was preparing legislation Wednesday requiring all foreign warships to obtain the Iranian navy's permission to enter the Persian Gulf.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is back in Latin America building bridges with OPEC partners Ecuador and Venezuela and populist governments in Cuba, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
The Pentagon snubbed an Iranian warning not to return a U.S. aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, saying Washington will operate there as it has for decades.
Tensions between the Iran and the United States, as well as with U.S. allies, are racheting up as the Islamic Republic finds itself increasingly backed into a corner.