United States deploys amphibious assault ship and Patriot battery to Middle East

US sends carrier, bombers to Middle East as Iran tensions increase

There's no final decision about the Patriot missiles, and the movement could hinge on if the US considers Iran is taking action to decrease the threat.

The United States removed Patriot missile batteries from Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan in late 2018.

The bombers are now positioned at the al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, a defense official confirmed on condition of anonymity.

Trump made the offer as he increased economic and military pressure on Iran, moving to cut off all Iranian oil exports this month while beefing up the USA navy and air force presence in the Gulf.

The heated rhetoric has capped a multiyear standoff over the rogue nation's nuclear program.

It also threatened to step up uranium enrichment if it was not shielded from the sanctions' effects within 60 days. "It follows the Trump government's" maximum stress" campaign of diplomatic and economic measures which have exacted a punishing toll in the Islamic Republic. "But Iran's 40 years of killing American soldiers, attacking American facilities, and taking American hostages is a constant reminder that we must defend ourselves".

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US President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton has said the deployment aimed to send a "clear and unmistakable" message to Iran about any attack against the US or its partners in the region.

Democrats used Iran's statement as an opportunity to criticize Trump.

Earlier in the day self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido said that he asked his envoy to the United States to meet with Department of Defence officials to "cooperate" on a solution to the Venezuelan political crisis. Iran has been living up to its part of the bargain.

"We have information that you don't want to know about", Trump said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a quick visit Tuesday to Baghdad to meet with top leaders and underscore Iraq's need to protect Americans in their country.

"Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U.S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf", the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) said on Friday.

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Tensions between Washington and Tehran have escalated since Mr Trump pulled the USA out of the 2015 nuclear deal a year ago and re-imposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports and other sources of revenue.

Its move is seen by the government.

What has the United States said? "That policy is functioning".

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told Richard Moore, a visiting British Foreign Office official, that "Europe should not underestimate Iran's determination to scale back its commitments (under the 2015 deal) phase-by-phase", according to the state news agency IRNA. "What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me", Trump told reporters Thursday at the White House.

"I do believe that they will probably end up wanting to meet".

The USS Arlington, a San Antonio-class ship, transports U.S. Marines, amphibious vehicles, conventional landing craft and rotary aircraft to support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions.

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Senator Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed the move.

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