June 29, 2019
Qatar, June 29: The United States on Saturday deployed F-22 stealth fighter jets to Qatar, the American military said it was for the first time, in the midst of rising tensions with Iran in the region.
According to Al-Jazeera news reports, the Air Force Central Command, in an official statement, said the US air force F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were deployed “to defend American forces and interests” in the region. However, it did not provide further details about how many of the hi-tech planes has been sent.
United States President Donald Trump has on Monday signed an order targeting Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other eight senior military officials in a provocative move to ratchet up pressure on Tehran. Trump told reporters the sanctions would prevent Khamenei and his sanctioned officials to financial resources.
Last week, the US president abruptly called off his order of military strikes against Iran for downing an unmanned American spy drone on Thursday. The Trump administration also blames the Islamic Republic for the recent attacks over oil facilities and vessels near the Gulf of Oman, which Tehran strongly denies any wrongdoing.
Iran said the US sanctions imposed over supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and some eight army officials means the permanent end of diplomacy between Washington and Tehran.
World powers are currently in a “last chance” to warn Iran to remain committed to its compliances under the landmark 2015 international nuclear pact, INF Treaty, when they will hold a meeting on Friday, but Tehran is feeling low pressure from the US sanctions expectations, according to diplomats.
Top-level diplomats from China, Britain, Russia, Germany, and France meet with the Iranian officials on Friday in Vienna, while Tehran threatening to exceed its limit of enriched uranium what the nation was allowed under the accord, raising fears of military escalation in the region.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi has described the dialogues as the “last chance for the remaining parties … to gather and see how they can meet their commitments towards Iran”.