Wednesday, 21 Augst 2019 | 12:09 WIB

US Military Showcases Power in Middle East in Response to Iran Threat

USS Abraham Lincoln (theinterest)

WASHINGTON DC, NETRALNEWS.COM -- The United States military has once again increased its arsenal in the Middle East to face Iranian threats, on Friday (10/05/2019), announcing Patriot missile battery movements and the USS Arlington landing platform dock used in amphibious attacks.

The move comes a day after the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and four B-52 bombers arrived in the Middle East in response to fears Iran was allegedly planning attacks on American object targets.

"It is important that Iran understands that attacks on Americans or their interests will be welcomed with appropriate responses," said Acting Secretary of US Defense Pat Shanahan. "We are in the Middle East to defeat terrorism, fight and build security ... but we will protect ourselves."

The Iranian threat is "on land and at sea" and includes the commercial means of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, a branch of the Iranian armed forces, which is loaded with "potential military hardware to insert missiles," a senior military official told reporters at the Pentagon quoted from VOA.

USS Arlington will replace USS Fort McHenry to provide "additional orders and control capabilities in the region," which will "accelerate the ability to respond to" any threat, the official added.

Pentagon officials did not comment on where the Patriot missile battery was being sent. All-weather air defense systems are used against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft.

Meanwhile, VOA is still reporting, despite an increase in military power, the Pentagon is trying to downplay concerns that it is preparing for a war with Iran.

"The United States is not seeking conflict with Iran, but we are behaving and ready to defend US forces and interests in the region," the Pentagon said in a statement issued Friday.

U.S. Maritime Administration has issued a declaration that commercial vessels, including oil tankers sailing through Middle East waterways, can be targeted by Iran.

There are no calls from Iran

Meanwhile, the semi-official Tasnim news agency in Iran quoted a high-ranking Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander as saying Tehran would not negotiate with the United States. The statement follows US President Donald Trump's indirect invitation to Iranian leaders to call him.

Trump called for negotiations with Iran several times on Thursday (05/09/2019). He told reporters, "What I want to see with Iran, I want to see them call me."

But Tasnim on Friday quoted General Yadollah Javani as saying "there will be no negotiations with America." He also said the United States would not dare to take military action against Iran.

The aircraft carrier group completed its transit on Thursday through the Suez Canal, said a spokesman for US Central Command Captain William Urban. He also said two B-52 bombers arrived in the region Thursday, while two other bombers arrived Wednesday.

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

Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein told VOA the rapid military movement "sent a message that we can face threats at the time and place we choose."