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Pentagon deploys warship, Patriot missiles in Middle East to deter Iranian 'threats'

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Amid escalating tensions with Iran, the has announced that it is deploying a warship and a air defence system in the to deter the threats of possible operations against US forces in the region by

The USS Arlington, which transports amphibious vehicles and aircraft, and the air defence system will join the and a bomber task force in the region in response to "indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and our interests, the said Friday.

The approval to deploy additional military asset against has been done at the request of US Central Command, it said, adding that the continues to closely monitor the activities of the Iranian regime, their military and proxies.

The Pentagon said the US did not seek conflict with Iran, but that was "ready to defend US forces and interests in the region".

"The continues to closely monitor the activities of the Iranian regime," it said in a statement.

"Due to operational security, we will not discuss timelines or location of forces, the Pentagon said.

USS Arlington is a San Antonio-class ship that transports US marines, amphibious vehicles, conventional landing craft and rotary aircraft with the capability to support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions.

It also provides a high-quality command and control capability and improved interoperability with our allies and partners in the region. A battery is a long-range, all-weather air defense system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.

Senator Jim Inhofe, of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed the move. "By proactively moving the USS Arlington and a Patriot system to the region to join the USS Abraham Lincoln, the is sending a clear message: stand down or we will stand up," he said.

US last year unilaterally withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal and other nations had agreed with in 2015. Under the accord, Iran had agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for sanctions relief.

last month said it would end exemptions from sanctions for five countries - China, India, Japan, and - that were still buying Iranian

The US also blacklisted Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, designating it as a foreign terrorist group.

Iran on Wednesday threatened to enrich its uranium stockpile closer to weapons-grade levels if Europe, and fail to deliver sanctions relief within 60 days.

Early this week, alleged that Iranian regime directly engages in far reaching terrorist activities.

We know that the Iranian regime knows what our military capabilities are and we have a healthy respect for them. And that's good. And while they have avoided direct military conflict with the and our partners they have demonstrated the willingness and ability to attack our people, our interests and our friends and allies in the confusing, complex zone just short of armed conflict, he said.

In his address to the Foundation of Defence and Democracies, McKenzie alleged that the Iranian regime has smuggled ballistic missiles into and assisted with their construction and deployment.

And they're employed by the Hufis against the of as well as against the United Arab Emirates, threatening US partners as well as Americans who live and work there.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 11 2019. 10:25 IST