Several of our stealth F-22 Raptors have apparently been deployed to an air base in the United Arab Emirates, but the US is claiming they are not a threat to Iran.
America's most sophisticated stealth jet fighters have been quietly deployed to an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran's mainland, according to an industry report, but the Air Force adamantly denied the jets' presence is a threat to the Middle East nation.
Multiple stealth F-22 Raptors, which have never been combat-tested, are in hangars at the United Arab Emirates' Al Dafra Air Base, just a short hop over the Persian Gulf from Iran's southern border, the trade publication Aviation Week reported.
Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. John Dorrian would not confirm the exact location of the F-22s, but told ABC News they had been deployed to a base in Southwest Asia -- a region that includes the UAE. Dorrian also stressed that the F-22s were simply taking part in a scheduled deployment and are "not a threat to Iran."
"This is a very normal deployment to strengthen military relationships, promote sovereign and regional security, improve combined tactical air operations and enhance interoperability of forces," Dorrian said.
The F-22 has only been in the UAE once before for training missions in 2009 with "coalition partners."
Of course, this doesn't mean they would be used in a strike against Iran. But it is interesting that the US now has the capability to attack Iran if we choose. Two carriers in the Gulf and Indian Ocean as well as a few thousand troops in Israel, and the F-22's all point to the US having the capability to carry out an attack.
Obama probably won't do it, but can the Iranians be sure? Evidently, there is value in bluffing the Iranians at this point.