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Iran Condemns U.S. F-22 Fighter Deployment to Gulf, Fars Reports

The deployment of U.S. F-22 stealth fighters to a base in the U.A.E. is “a harmful move” that undermines the region’s security, the state-run Fars news agency reported, citing Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi.

“We consider such presence in the region useless and harmful and creating an insecure atmosphere in the region,” the agency reported Vahidi as saying.

The U.S. has deployed F-22 Raptor aircraft to the Al Dhafra air base, Aviation Week reported on April 26. The U.S. air force said the aircraft had been sent to Southwest Asia to promote regional security, the publication cited a spokesman as saying.

The U.A.E. base is south of the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of globally traded oil passes, and Abu Musa island, which is claimed by Iran and the U.A.E.

A visit to the island by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this month was provocative and violated U.A.E. sovereignty, the Gulf Cooperation Council said in a statement on April 17.

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