The United States is sending an aircraft strike group to the Middle East amid “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” from Iran.
“In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region 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,” said U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Sunday evening.”
He added that “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 Guard Corps or regular Iranian forces.”
The move is part of the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran that has included reimposing sanctions lifted under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which America withdrew from last May, in addition to enacting fresh sanctions against Tehran. A new wave of economic penalties is expected to be announced this week.
Last month, the administration designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.