21:37 GMT08 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has for the first time deployed its stealth F-22 fighter jets to Qatar as added protection for US forces amid the current tensions with Iran, the US Air Force Central Command said in a release on Friday.

    "The US Air Force F-22 Raptor arrives at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, June 27, 2019," the release said. "These aircraft are deployed to Qatar for the first time in order to defend American forces and interests in the US Central Command area of responsibility."

    US relations with Iran have progressively deteriorated since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear agreement last October. Since, the United States reintroduced several rounds of sanctions against Iran, targeting almost all of its economic sectors.

    In May, Iran said it would partially suspend its obligations under the 2015 nuclear agreement.

    The deterioration in US-Iran relations has significantly escalated the security situation in the Middle East. The United States started building up its military presence in the region in what US National Security Advisor John Bolton called a clear message to Iran. According to the Defense Department, the US military deployed to the region an aircraft carrier strike group, Patriot missiles, B-52 bombers and F-15 fighters.


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    US Air Force Central Command, F-22 Raptor, F-22, Qatar, Iran, USA
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