WASHINGTON, May 11. /TASS/. The United States has decided to move a Patriot long-range all-weather air defense system battery and USS Arlington to the United States’ Central Command (CENTCOM) zone of authority, which primarily contains the Middle East and Central Asia, the Pentagon’s press service said in a statement on Friday.
"The Acting Secretary of Defense (Patrick Shanahan) has approved the movement of USS Arlington (LPD-24) and a Patriot battery to US Central Command (CENTCOM) as part of the command’s original request for forces from earlier this week," the statement said.
"These assets will join the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a US Air Force bomber task force in the Middle East region in response to indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and our interests," the press service said. The Department of Defense emphasized that the United States does not seek conflict with Iran. "But we are postured and ready to defend US forces and interests in the region," it added.
On May 5, US National Security Adviser John Bolton announced the deployment of a navy strike group headed by USS Abraham Lincoln and a strike aircraft task group to the CENTCOM zone of authority as a signal to Iranian authorities.
On April 8, US President Donald Trump decided to put the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on a list of foreign terrorist organizations. Washington claimed that the IRGC "actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft." In response, Iran’s National Security Council listed the United States Armed Forces as a terrorist organization. On April 23, Iran’s parliament by a majority vote ratified all 14 provisions of the bill on recognizing the United States’ Central Command as a foreign terrorist organization, while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signed it into law on April 30.