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Spain pulls its frigate from US military build-up in Gulf

AFP  |  Madrid 

has recalled a accompanying a US to the because of rising tensions between and Tehran, the defence ministry said Tuesday.

"For the moment the Mendez Nunez has left the group of the USS Abraham Lincoln," a told AFP, confirming a report in the Spanish daily

"It's a temporary withdrawal, decided by Margarita Robles, as long as the American is in this zone," the added.

He said the Spanish had joined the aircraft carrier's group for a military exercise.

"No possible confrontation or warlike action is envisaged (by Spain) and it is for this reason that the participation is suspended for the moment," he added.

On May 5, the announced it was deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Group and a bomber task force to the in response to a "credible threat" from

Last Friday, the announced the deployment of the amphibious assault ship the USS Arlington and a Patriot missile battery to the region.

reiterated that intelligence reports suggested was planning some sort of attack in the region.

According to El Pais, the USS Abraham Lincoln is currently heading for the Strait of Hormuz, through which it will enter the Gulf -- the stretch of water separating from the

But the newspaper said it would cross the strait without the Spanish frigate. "does not want to be dragged involuntarily into a conflict with Iran," the paper reported.

The spike in tensions comes a week after Iran announced it was suspending some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement. That came a year after withdrew from the accord and slapped tough sanctions on the Islamic republic.

On Sunday and Monday, US allies and the said belonging to them had been damaged in "sabotage attacks" in the Gulf. Neither country released further details.

No link has officially been drawn between the incidents and US accusations concerning "imminent" attacks by against US interests in the region. Britain, and on Monday urged the US not to further escalate tensions over the Iran nuclear deal.

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

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 17:16 IST
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