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US, Iran Beef Up Military Activity In Gulf Ahead Of Soleimani’s First Death Anniversary

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republicworld– The United States and Iran have beefed up military activity in the Middle-East ahead of the first death anniversary of slain Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. American military officials with knowledge of the latest intelligence from the region told CNN that Iran has increased its maritime presence in the Gulf in the last two days and is also moving short-range ballistic missiles into neighbouring Iraq. The US has repeatedly¬†blamed rocket attacks on its embassy in Iraq’s highly fortified Green Zone on Iranian proxies. This comes a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the Trump administration of fabricating a reason to start a war with Iran.

‘US fabricating reason to start war’

Zarif took to his official Twitter handle to accuse incumbent US President Donald Trump and his “cohorts” of wasting billions of dollars of American taxpayers’ money in the Middle-East by sending nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and a fleet of armadas, instead of using it to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at home. Zarif also alleged that the US is fabricating a pretext to start a war against Iran and warned that Tehran will not surrender and will do everything to defend its people and assets.

However, the Pentagon on Thursday said that it has recalled the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, which was patrolling the Gulf waters since November, after the completion of a 10-month deployment. According to the report, Iran on December 31 had appealed to the United Nations Security Council to stop the US from conducting military activities in the Middle-East after reports emerged that Washington had sent bombers and aircraft carriers to the Gulf.

The latest report of increased military activity by Iran in the region has raised concern among the security experts, who believe that it could escalate tensions between the two long-time foes. The relations between Iran and the US soured after the Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018. The tensions fired-up further after the US killed Qassem Solaimani in a drone strike last year in January, which resulted in Tehran attacking two American bases in Iraq a few days later.