16:56 GMT24 January 2021
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    Earlier, the United States deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf to send a “clear and unmistakable message” to Iran.

    The US military presence in the Middle East is at its "weakest in history", a deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said, as quoted by the Fars news agency.

    READ MORE: ‘Exclusive Intel' Claims Iran Cuts Funding to Allies Amid Economic War — Report

    "The Americans have been present in the region since 1833 and they are now at their weakest in history in West Asia," Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, a deputy Guards commander, stressed.

    New US deployments in the region include an aircraft carrier strike group, Patriot missiles, B-52 bombers and F-15 fighters, according to the Pentagon.

    Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan said earlier that Washington had no interest in escalating tensions with Iran or going to war with the Middle Eastern country.

    US-Iranian tensions escalated in 2018, when the United States unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and started reinstating sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

    On 8 May, Iran announced its decision to partially discontinue its obligations under the nuclear agreement.


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    military presence, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran, US, Middle East
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