Iran to send warships to Atlantic coast of US
Diplomatic tensions between the US and Iran escalated this weekend as Tehran announced it would send its warships close to American waters within months.
The Iranian navy said it would deploy vessels in the Atlantic from March as a counter-measure to the presence of US aircraft carriers in the Gulf. An Iranian rear-admiral said they would have a "continuous presence in international waters", which was intended to "wave the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran" and "secure shipping routes".
The flotilla will include a destroyer equipped with helicopters, surface-to-surface missiles, anti-aircraft guns and electronic warfare capabilities.
It was the latest naval move by the regime, which has also sent ships to the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect its vessels from Somali pirates.
Friction with Washington has grown since Donald Trump took office. In May, Trump announced the US was withdrawing from the 2015 deal that restricted Iran's nuclear ambitions, and reimposed sanctions on Iran's banking and energy sectors. In response, Iran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major shipping route for crude oil.
The latest threats came a day after Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, warned it not to go ahead with plans to launch several satellites.