The United States is keeping the pressure on Iran with the presence of two aircraft carriers close to the Gulf ahead of the resumption of nuclear talks with Tehran this week.
A navy spokesman said yesterday that there are currently two carrier strike groups in the US 5th Fleet area of operations.
The USS Abraham Lincoln is currently in the north Arabian Sea and the USS Enterprise is transiting the Gulf of Aden.
The US naval presence in the Gulf is described as routine by the Pentagon, but tensions have risen in recent months following Iran's threat to close a key global oil chokepoint in the region.
Iran confirmed yesterday that nuclear talks this week with world powers would take place in Istanbul.
Iran last held talks with the so-called P5+1 powers -- permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany -- in January 2011 with no results.