US aircraft carrier enters Persian Gulf as Iranian convoy moves away from Yemen

Updated 12:36 PM EDT, Sat April 25, 2015
(CNN) —  

The USS Theodore Roosevelt entered the Persian Gulf Saturday to conduct what a U.S. defense official called routine maritime security operations, days after U.S. warships were deployed to the Yemeni coast to counter an Iranian convoy.

Multiple U.S. officials have said the American ships had been deployed to the region to dissuade the Iranian convoy, which included armed ships, from docking in Yemen, where Iran has been supporting and arming the Houthi rebellion.

The Iranian ships turned away from Yemen on Thursday, and were still sailing northeast toward Iran on Saturday, a U.S. defense official said. They were still in international waters off the coast of Yemen on Saturday, the official said, adding that the convoy was moving slowly and wasn’t expected to reach the Strait of Hormuz for several days.

On Friday, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters that there had been no communication between Iranian and U.S. forces at any point.

READ: Warships near Yemen create ‘options’ for dealing with Iranian vessels, U.S. says

“I think it’s fair to say that this appears to be a de-escalation of some of the tensions that were being discussed earlier in the week,” Warren said.

Although U.S. administration spokesmen had downplayed the link betwee