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Deployment of US Carrier to Mideast a Response to 'Iranian Threat' - Shanahan

© AP Photo / Hassan Ammar, FileThis file photo taken on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 shows a U.S. F-18 fighter jet, left, land on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as a U.S. destroyer sells on alongside during fly exercises in the Persian Gulf
This file photo taken on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 shows a U.S. F-18 fighter jet, left, land on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as a U.S. destroyer sells on alongside during fly exercises in the Persian Gulf - Sputnik International
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Earlier, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the United States is deploying its carrier strike group near Iran to send a message to Tehran.

US Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan confirmed via his Twitter that the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region represents a repositioning of assets in response to warnings of a possible attack by Iran.

He added that the United States would hold Iran accountable for "any attack against US forces" or interests in the Gulf region.

READ MORE: 'Clear Indications' of Planned Iranian Attack Behind US Carrier Dispatch: Report

This image taken from Iranian state TV, shows damage to a mock U.S. aircraft carrier during large-scale naval and air defense drills by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran - Sputnik International
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Bolton announced on Sunday that the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force have been deployed to the US Central Command region in order to send a message to Iran after the United States received warnings that Iran may possibly attack its interests or its allies in the region.

"In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force", the statement said.

The United States Central Command's area of responsibility consists of the Middle East, including Egypt in Africa, and Central Asia, notably Afghanistan and Iraq. Its forces are active participants in many military campaigns in the region.

Bolton added that Washington is not "seeking war" with Iran, but it is fully prepared "to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces".

Tensions have been running high between Iran and the United States since May 2018, when US President Donald Trump, a long-time critic of the historic Iran nuclear deal, pulled out of the agreement in May 2018. In less than a year, Washington unveiled massive batches of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, targeting the country's finance, transport, military, and other spheres.

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