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U.S. Navy ships in gulf a day after Iran war games

An American aircraft carrier battle group led by the USS Nimitz arrived in the Persian Gulf, one day after Iran launched major naval maneuvers in the strategic waterway.

The Nimitz and six U.S. warships entered the region Sunday, two weeks ahead of schedule. The sped-up deployment was ordered after Iranian warplanes bombed two Iranian rebel bases in southern Iraq on Sept. 29. The raids violated the Western allies' "no-fly" zone.Washington warned Iran and Iraq, which sent up two fighters after the Iranian raid, against further violations of the zone.

On Saturday, the Iranian navy started 10 days of war games, which state-run Tehran television said were meant to "display Iran's capability and increasing strength . . . in the face of the onslaught of foreigners."

The broadcast showed warships, helicopters and submarines moving into place for the exercises, which will cover 15,000 square miles.

More than 50 warships, including two Russian-built submarines, and scores of planes and helicopters were to take part, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said.

Neither the U.S. Navy nor Iran would say exactly where their vessels would be, and it was not clear how close the two countries' warships would come.