By Staff Writer
The US is sending an aircraft carrier strike group and bomber task force to the Middle East to counteract “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” linked to Iran, according to National Security Adviser John Bolton.
In a statement on Sunday, Bolton said this would send a message to Iran regime that any attack on US interests or allies will be met with force. He insisted that the US is not seeking war with Iran, but will respond to any attack by them.
The strike group includes the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, fighter jets, helicopters, destroyers and more than 6,000 sailors.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that this move had been under consideration for a while and that the US had “good reason” to want to communicate clearly to Iran how it would respond to malign actions.
Pompeo said: “It is absolutely the case that we have seen escalatory actions from the Iranians and it is equally the case that we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests. If these actions take place, if they do by some third-party proxy, a militia group, Hezbollah, we will hold the Iranian leadership directly accountable for that.”
This comes one week after Iran regime’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Bolton and others of “designing confrontation”.
He said: “I don’t think military confrontation will happen. I think people have more prudence that allowing a military confrontation to happen. But, I think the US administration is putting things in place for accidents to happen. And there has to be extreme vigilance so that people who are planning this type of accident would not have their way.”
The Donald Trump administration has made no secret of their desire to put “maximum pressure” on the Iranian Regime to come back to the table for a new nuclear deal that would cover all of Iran’s malign behaviour, after pulling out of the original deal last year citing Iranian cheating.
The US’s main problems with Iran regime is its sponsorship of terror groups, its ballistic missile program, and its domestic repression.
The US has reimposed sanctions on Iran from last August, added new sanctions, and ended the temporary sanctions waiver granted in November, which was designed to prevent the oil market from running out of control. They’ve also recently listed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation.