Dubai: B-52 bombers ordered by the White House to deploy to the Persian Gulf to counter unspecified threats from Iran have arrived at a major American air base in Qatar, the US Air Force acknowledged Friday.
Images released by the US Air Force’s Central Command showed B-52H Stratofortress bombers arriving Thursday night at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. “Others landed at an undisclosed location Wednesday in southwest Asia,” the Air Force said.
The United States military in the past has described its presence at both the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates and Al Udeid as ‘southwest Asia’.
Earlier Sunday, the White House had announced it would send the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and the bombers into the Persian Gulf to counter Tehran. The ‘Lincoln’ Thursday passed through the Suez Canal on its way to the Persian Gulf.
The administration of President Donald Trump has not offered specific details of the threat allegedly presented by Iran which had Wednesday, announced that it would begin backing away from its nuclear deal with world powers.
President Hassan Rouhani gave European leaders a 60-day deadline to find a way to shield Iran from US sanctions targeting its economy and oil industry, otherwise he said Tehran would begin to enrich uranium at levels closer to weapons-grade levels.
The European Union (EU) urged Iran Thursday to respect the international agreement curbing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions, and added that the bloc aims to continue trading with the country despite US sanctions. But so far, the EU and its member nations have not offered any new plans.
For his part, Trump said he wanted to speak to Iran’s leaders. “What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me,” Trump told reporters Thursday at the White House. There was no immediate reaction from Iran, which in the past has said it turned down Trump’s requests for meetings.