Iran's foreign minister says Trump trying to fabricate pretext to attack Iran

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The command's area of responsibility includes Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Iran, Turkmenistan, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The US military has flown nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the Middle East in a show of force to Iran and deployed a nuclear submarine to the Gulf, according to media reports.

Two B-52 bombers carried out a round-trip, 30-hour mission from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to the Middle East ending on Wednesday, in what the U.S. military said was an effort to show American military might to deter Iran. The officer was not authorized to publicly discuss internal assessments based on sensitive intelligence and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Soleimani-a national hero, confidante to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and widely considered the second most powerful figure in the regime-was killed in an American drone strike on January 3 this year.

Accusing US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of the "savage assassination", Rouhani warned December 29 that Iranians "won't let them get away" and have "every right to avenge the blood of their popular commander". Trump lost the presidential election and will leave office next month, but during the transition period has placed ever-harsher sanctions on Iran and warned he will respond aggressively to any Iranian aggression. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, "Trump will bear full responsibility for any adventurism on his way out".

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U.S. Central Command headquarters are located at MacDill AFB near Tampa, Florida. The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, heavy bomber that is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet and can carry nuclear or precision guided conventional ordnance with global reach precision navigation capability.

Following rocket attacks on the U.S. Baghdad Embassy's "Green Zone" Dec. 19, Trump issued a warning in a Twitter post. "Think it over", Trump wrote on December 23. Iran retaliated by launching over a dozen ballistic missiles at two USA bases in Iraq on 8 January, with over 100 USA troops injured in the strikes.

"Iran doesn't seek war but will OPENLY & DIRECTLY defend its people, security & vital interests".

The Nimitz deployed from the U.S.in April and was due to return before the end of the year.

The former commander of IRGC Quds Force Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and deputy Iraqi PMU Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were assassinated on January 3, 2020, in Iraq's Baghdad Airport by United States terrorist forces.

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