United States to Send More Patriot Missiles to Middle East Over Iran Fears

US bombers arrive at Middle East base on mission to deter Iranian attacks

US bombers arrive at Middle East base on mission to deter Iranian attacks

CNN has reported that intelligence has shown that Iran is likely moving short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles aboard boats in the Persian Gulf.

"The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against U.S. interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive United States response", Pompeo said in a statement.

He said the U.S. would give a "swift and decisive" response to any attacks against USA interests or citizens.

An Iranian Revolutionary Guard boat is seen near the USA aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Strait of Hormuz as US navy helicopters hover nearby in March 2017.

Iran has dismissed both moves as "psychological warfare" created to intimidate it.

"The Department of Defense continues to closely monitor the activities of the Iranian regime, their military and proxies", the Pentagon said in a statement, adding, "The United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we are postured and ready to defend USA forces and interests in the region".

Last year, officials described the withdrawal of the Patriots as part of a broader effort to adjust USA military deployments globally, as the Pentagon sought to prioritise military challenges from Russian Federation and China.

The USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) and B-52s have deployed to the US military's Central Command (CENTCOM) in a move that National Security Advisor John Bolton said would "send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime".

These included, MARAD said, oil production infrastructure, after Tehran threatened to close the vital Strait of Hormuz chokepoint through which about a fifth of oil consumed globally passes.

Iran on Wednesday said it would suspend some commitments under a 2015 nuclear accord rejected by Trump, frustrated that renewed United States sanctions have prevented the country from enjoying the economic fruits of compliance with the deal. The fleet's job is to protect commercial shipping in the area.

Washington last month blacklisted Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group. Iran has responded by scaling back some curbs on its nuclear program, although it remains compliant with a deal to restrict its nuclear activity which Washington abandoned a year ago.

Rhetoric has grown heated on both sides.

"If they attempt any move, they will. [face] dozens of missiles because at that time [government] officials won't be in charge to act cautiously, but instead things will be in the hands of our beloved leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei]", he said.

"Negotiations with Americans will not take place, and Americans will not dare to take military action against us", IRGC Lieutenant Commander for Political Affairs Brigadier General Yadollah Javani told the semi-official Tasnim News Agency.

On Friday a defense official reiterated that the Iranian threat "is still real and credible and we're taking it seriously". Iran has always said it pursued a nuclear program for peaceful purposes only. Still, Malloy stressed that the US military was not seeking or preparing for war with Iran.

State TV showed protesters marching after Friday prayers in Tehran and said similar marches had been held across Iran.