A U.S. B-1B bomber flies over the Middle East amid tensions in Iran

Fighter planes from Bahrain, Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia flew next to the bomber.

Iranian state media did not immediately acknowledge the overflight. The Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The overflight comes on the model of such flights of B-52 bombers with nuclear capabilities from the Trump administration as a demonstration of force to Iran. In 2018, Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, prompting Tehran to agree to drastically limit uranium enrichment in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

During this time, Iran has dropped all restrictions on the deal and drastically reduced the ability of international inspectors to monitor their program. While Iran insists its program is peaceful, U.S. intelligence agencies, Western inspectors and others say Tehran had a structured military nuclear program by the end of 2003.

President Joe Biden said he was ready to re-enter into a nuclear deal, but talks in Vienna stalled as the hard-won protégé of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took over the presidency. Secretary of State Antony Blinken he said on sunday that he still sees hope for diplomacy in the situation.

Biden, who sends a B1-B bomber to the region, allows him to send a “clear message of assurance” to regional allies, as the U.S. Air Force Central Command wrote on Twitter. However, it is not a nuclear bomber.

The B-1B came from the 37th Bomb Squadron based at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.

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