U.S. carrier crosses Hormuz amid rising Gulf tensions

A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group sailed through the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday more than a month after Iran warned a different carrier — USS John C. Stennis — not to return to the Gulf as Iranian navy boats sailed by.

Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, used for a third of the world’s seaborne oil trade, if Western moves to ban Iranian crude exports cripple its energy sector.

Tuesday aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln — part of the Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet — sailed through the strait of Hormuz with the Cape St George destroyer cruising behind.

Full article: U.S. carrier crosses Hormuz amid rising Gulf tensions (Reuters)

European Union agrees on Iran oil embargo

European Union nations have agreed on an oil embargo against Iran as part of sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Diplomats in Brussels said the EU foreign ministers would officially adopt the measures later Monday that were hashed out by the 27 ambassadors.

The measures include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products while existing ones are allowed to run until July.

“I am confident that the EU will give a resolute answer today to Iran’s refusal to fulfill its international obligations on the nuclear programme,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said ahead of the official adoption by the foreign ministers.

Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Iran to “come to its senses” and resume negotiations on its nuclear programme after Britain, America and France sent six warships through the highly sensitive waters of the Strait of Hormuz.

Continue reading article: European Union agrees on Iran oil embargo (Telegraph)