Risks rise between U.S., Iran with carrier, bombers deployed
09 Mai, 2019, 00:14 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
John Bolton announced Sunday that the United States was deploying the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber taskforce to the Middle East as a message to Iran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the actions by the USA had been planned for some time.
Khosravi said that "it is unlikely that US Army commanders will choose to test the capabilities of the Iranian Armed Forces", Efe news reported.
Since then, the Trump administration has ramped up menacing rhetoric against Iran while tightening economic sanctions on the country.
One of the officials said the intelligence was specific enough that it detailed the locations of potential attacks against USA forces and the time frame within which they could occur.
The Lincoln group deployment was expedited to the Gulf from the Mediterranean because of recent indications of land and maritime preparations by Iranian troops and their proxies in the Middle East for possible attacks on USA forces, according to a defense official, who asked not to be named because the information has not yet been publicly released.
The news site Axios said Bolton's warning came after Israel, which has pushed to isolate Iran, passed along intelligence on a possible plot by Tehran "against a USA target in the Gulf or United States allies like Saudi Arabia or the UAE".
The naval deployment is the the second aggressive action undertaken by the USA against the Middle Eastern country within the last two weeks.
"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", Pompeo said.
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For years, the US maintained a carrier presence in the Persian Gulf and Middle East region. However, the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was not expecting any imminent Iranian attack.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter: "If U.S. and clients don't feel safe, it's because they're despised by the people of the region - blaming Iran won't reverse that".
The administration also blacklisted Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iranian officials have denied the existence of any threat and have claimed that the United States had moved the vessels a month ago.
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