The US is sending a Patriot air defence missile system and a warship to the Center East amid escalating tensions with Iran.
The usArlington, which transports amphibious autos and plane, will be part of the united statesAbraham Lincoln strike group within the Gulf, officers say.
US B-52 bombers have additionally arrived at a base in Qatar, the Pentagon mentioned.
It mentioned the strikes have been a response to threats of doable operations towards US forces within the area by Iran.
The US has given little details about the precise nature of the reported menace, which Iran has dismissed as nonsense, describing the deployments as “psychological warfare” geared toward intimidating the nation.
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In the meantime Iran’s semi-official Isna information company quoted a senior Iranian cleric, Yousef Tabatabai-Nejad, as saying that the US navy fleet could possibly be “destroyed with one missile”.
What has the US mentioned?
On Friday, the Pentagon mentioned that the US didn’t search battle with Iran, however that Washington was “able to defend US forces and pursuits within the area”.
“The Division of Protection continues to carefully monitor the actions of the Iranian regime,” it mentioned in a press release.
It added that the Patriot system – which it mentioned might counter ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and superior plane – was additionally being deployed within the occasion of any doable assault.
Officers advised US media the united statesArlington had already been scheduled to go to the area, however its deployment was introduced ahead to offer enhanced command and management capabilities.
On Sunday, US Nationwide Safety Adviser John Bolton mentioned the navy deployments would “ship a transparent and unmistakeable message” to the Iranian regime that any assault on US pursuits within the area “can be met with unrelenting power”.
The usAbraham Lincoln handed by the Suez Canal on Thursday, US Central Command mentioned.
The BBC’s defence and diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says that whereas it’s not uncommon for an plane service and its battle group to be despatched to the Gulf, the transfer will spark fears that a doable battle might erupt both by chance or by design.
What is the state of US-Iran relations?
Final 12 months, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal America and different nations had agreed with Iran in 2015.
Beneath the accord, Iran had agreed to restrict its delicate nuclear actions and permit in worldwide inspectors in return for sanctions aid.
And final month the White Home mentioned it could finish exemptions from sanctions for 5 international locations – China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey – that have been nonetheless shopping for Iranian oil.
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On the similar time the US additionally blacklisted Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, designating it as a overseas terrorist group.
The Trump administration hopes to compel Iran to barter a “new deal” that will cowl not solely its nuclear actions, but in addition its ballistic missile programme and what officers name its “malign behaviour” throughout the Center East.
The sanctions have led to a pointy downturn in Iran’s financial system, pushing the worth of its forex to file lows, driving away overseas buyers, and triggering protests.
Iran has repeatedly threatened to retaliate to the US measures by blocking the Strait of Hormuz – although which a couple of fifth of all oil consumed globally cross.
Earlier this week Iran introduced that it had suspended two commitments beneath the 2015 accord in response to the financial sanctions the US had reimposed.
It additionally threatened to step up uranium enrichment if it was not shielded from the sanctions’ results inside 60 days.
European powers mentioned they remained dedicated to the Iran nuclear deal however that they “reject any ultimatums” from Tehran to forestall its collapse.