On Sunday, the United States dispatched a carrier group to the Middle East, specifically to counter Iranian Attack Plans regarding U.S. interests in the region. Intelligence officials claim that the response is because of “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” related to Iran.
According to a statement released on Sunday night by John Bolton, the National Security Advisor, the purpose for dispatching the carrier group is “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”
In regards to the situation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “It’s something we’ve been working on for a little while.” However, an American Military Official stated that the dispatch of force must have been relating to a threat issued within 48 hours prior to Sunday night because as of late Friday night, there was no new information.
“It is absolutely the case that we’ve seen escalatory action from the Iranians, and it is equally the case that we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests,” Pompeo said. “The fact that those actions take place, if they do, by some third-party proxy, whether that’s a Shia militia group or the Houthis or Hezbollah, we will hold the Iranians — Iranian leadership — directly accountable for that.”
When asked if the United States was seeking a war with Iran; “The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps or regular Iranian forces,” Mr. Bolton said in the statement.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed the military moves as outlined in Mr. Bolton’s statement but declined to provide more details.
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“We will not distinguish between attacks from Shia militias in #Iraq and the #IRGC that controls them,” Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican of Florida and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Monday morning on Twitter. “Any attack by these groups against U.S. forces will be considered an attack by #Iran & responded to accordingly.”
The Trump Administration has taken a hardline stance against Iran and aims to force Iranian leadership to end its support of Shiite militias and other groups across the Middle East.
Also, the United States has worked to reduce Iran’s nuclear capabilities; however, Israeli intelligence suggests that Iran is far more capable of using nuclear weapons than previously thought. Further, the Trump administration has committed to a maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime.