As the Obama administration edges toward imposing tougher sanctions on Iran, it has begun upgrading its approach to defending its Persian Gulf allies against potential Iranian missile strikes, officials said Saturday.
The United States has quietly increased the capability of land-based Patriot defensive missiles in several Gulf Arab nations, and one military official said the Navy is beefing up the presence of ships capable of knocking down hostile missiles in flight.
The officials discussed aspects of the defensive strategy on condition of anonymity because some elements are classified.
The moves have been in the works for months and are part of a broader adjustment in the U.S. approach to missile defense, including in Europe and Asia. Details have not been publicly announced, in part because of diplomatic sensitivities in Gulf countries which worry about Iranian military capabilities but are cautious about acknowledging U.S. protection.
The administration will send a review of ballistic missile strategy to Congress on Monday that frames the larger shifts.
……One military official said the adjustments in the Gulf should be seen as prudent defensive measures designed to deter Iran from taking aggressive action in the region, more than as a signal that Washington expects Iran to retaliate for any additional sanctions.
The deployments include expanded land-based Patriot defensive missile installations in Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain, as well as Navy ships with missile defense systems within striking distance in and around the Mediterranean, officials said.
General David Petraeus, who as head of U.S. Central Command is responsible for military operations across the Middle East, said this month that the United States has stationed eight Patriot missile batteries in four Gulf countries, which he did not identify.
Iran’s batshit crazy President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, made some threats to ‘deliver a harsh blow to global arrogance’ next week. Apparently, this will happen during celebration of the 31st anniversary of Iran’s “Revolution”. Opposition groups plan on taking to the streets as well. Should be another bloody day on the streets of Tehran.
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