The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise has set sail on its final voyage, heading to the Persian Gulf.
The Enterprise left Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia on Sunday on its seven-month mission.
The US oldest active-duty warship will be on standby in case of conflict with Iran, CNN reported.
“Enterprise is as ready and capable as she has ever been throughout her 50 years,” Capt. William C. Hamilton, the ship’s commanding officer, said in a statement.
The carrier, which holds a crew of over 4,000, has taken part in several wars. It will be deployed in the Persian Gulf together with other warships, forming a carrier strike group.
Last month, the Enterprise and its strike group held naval drills off the US East coast. The aircraft carrier is set to join two other US strike groups in the Persian Gulf by March.
The US and Israel have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the “option” of a military strike, based on the allegation that Iran’s nuclear energy program may include a covert military aspect.
Iran has categorically refuted the allegations, saying that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Tehran has promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.
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