Pentagon denies ship movements related to Iran

The USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is seen near Hong Kong Dec. 27, 2011. AFP/Getty Images

The USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is seen near Hong Kong Dec. 27, 2011.
The USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is seen near Hong Kong Dec. 27, 2011.
AFP/Getty Images

The Pentagon downplayed the arrival of another aircraft carrier strike group near the oil shipping lane that Iran has threatened to shut down amid increasing tensions between the nation and the United States, according to a Reuters report.

The group led by the USS Carl Vinson arrived Monday in the neighboring Arabian Sea to replace the strike group led by the USS John C. Stennis, which Reuters reported is expected to return to San Diego.

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"I don't want to leave anybody with the impression that we're somehow (speeding) two carriers over there because we're concerned about what happened, you know, today in Iran," Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, told Reuters Wednesday, the same day that an Iranian nuclear scientist was killed by a bomb two motorcyclists magnetically attached to his car. "It's just not the case."

Meanwhile, a third strike group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln was in the Indian Ocean en route to join the Vinson.

The Persian Gulf and surrounding waters haven't been calm for the U.S. military since Iran warned the Stennis group not to return after leaving in December. On Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued Iranian mariners from a vessel in distress less than a week after the Navy saved Iranian sailors from a crew of suspected Somali pirates.

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com

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