Washington has deployed Patriot missile defence system and a Navy ship to the Middle East amid increasing tensions between the US and Iran. Prior to Patriot missile defence, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a US Air Force bomber task force were deployed earlier in the week. This, sources say is in response to ‘heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations’.
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According to experts, the Patriot missile system is combat-tested against aircraft, drones, cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles. This system is currently deployed in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The Pentagon in an official statement said the Department of Defense continues to closely monitor the activities of the Iranian regime, their military and proxies.
“Due to operational security, we will not discuss timelines or location of forces. The United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we are postured and ready to defend US forces and interests in the region.”
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On Wednesday, the Trump administration had ordered new sanctions on Iran. It also ordered countries around the world to stop buying Tehran’s oil or face sanctions. Moreover, the US has placed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on a list of foreign terrorist organizations. Washington defended the listing saying that the IRGC ‘actively participates in finances and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft’. In retaliation, Iran’s National Security Council listed the United States Armed Forces as a terrorist organization.