Late Sunday night, the White House made an announcement that the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force were being deployed in response to unspecified "troubling and escalatory indications and warnings."
A statement from National Security Adviser John Bolton said the deployments were intended "to send a clear and unmistakable message to Iran that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force."
He added that Washington was not seeking war with the Islamic Republic, but was “fully prepared to respond to any attack”.
The carrier is currently in the Mediterranean after leaving Norfolk, Virginia, on April 1. The US Navy no longer provides destinations for its carrier deployments, but the carrier likely would have had to transit through the Middle East toward its new home port of San Diego at the end of its deployment.
The aircraft carrier USS John Stennis operated in the Persian Gulf twice during its recent deployment, for three weeks earlier this year and a week in early April.