Iran: U.S. sending carrier, bombers to mideast is 'psychological warfare'

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Sunday the United States was deploying the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East.

May 7, 2019 17:04
2 minute read.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits the Strait of Gibraltar

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits the Strait of Gibraltar, entering the Mediterranean Sea. (photo credit: REUTERS)

On Tuesday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman for the Supreme National Security Council, had said that "Bolton's statement is a clumsy use of a burnt-out happening for psychological warfare." Khosravi also said the carrier had arrived in the Mediterranean weeks ago, according to Tasnim.

US National Security advisor John Bolton announced on Sunday that the US is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to send a message to Iran.

The goal behind the move 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," according to Bolton.

Axios reported on Monday that the move was made due to information that the US received from Israel concerning an alleged Iranian plot to attack American interests in the Gulf.

"The #B_Team is at it again: From announcements of naval movements (that actually occurred last month) to dire warnings about so-called 'Iranian threats'," Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Tuesday in response to the Bolton's announcement that the US was sending a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East.

"If US and clients don't feel safe, it's because they're despised by the people of the region - blaming Iran won’t reverse that," Zarif added.

Iran's state-run Press TV reported earlier that "the deployment seems to be a 'regularly scheduled' one by the US Navy, and Bolton has just tried to talk it up."

A military adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the United States was "neither willing nor capable" with respect to an attack on Iran, according to the semi-official news agency ISNA.

Brigadier General Hossein Dehgan said Washington would have a hard time convincing world opinion and regional countries to accept an all-out war against Iran, and to mobilize resources for such a conflict.

Last week, President Donald Trump's administration said it would end waivers for countries buying Iranian oil in an attempt to reduce Iran's crude exports to zero following Washington's withdrawal from world powers' 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

The administration also blacklisted Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps.

US-Iranian tensions escalated further after Washington acted on Friday to force Tehran to stop producing low-enriched uranium and expanding its only nuclear power plant. Washington's step intensified a campaign aimed at halting Tehran's ballistic missile programme and curbing its regional power.

Iran will revive part of its halted nuclear program in response to the US withdrawal from the nuclear accord but does not plan to pull out of the agreement itself, state media reported on Monday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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