On May 5th, US National Security Adviser John Bolton announced the deployment of a US Navy Carrier Strike Group to the US Central Command region of the Middle East.
“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.”
According to Bolton, the move is simply with the aim of deterrence.
“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.”
According to CNN, Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved the deployment due to “clear indications that Iranian and Iranian proxy forces are making preparations to possibly attack US forces in the region (Middle East).”
Most recently, according to USNI’s tracker, the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and its escorts were in the Persian Gulf as of April 29th.
Department of Defense spokesman Chris Sherwood told CNN in a statement, “I can confirm that the Department of Defense is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region.”
On Iran’s side, on May 5th, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Crops (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami said that Iran’s “daily bread” is not based on oil and the US wouldn’t be able to pressure the country.
He further claimed that the US can’t pressure the Iranian military.
“Current juncture is the season of building up power and we should try to tip the balance in our favor through finding strategies determining radius of impact,” he said.
Ali Larijani, speaker of the Iranian Parliament said that the US has undertaken a chain of hostile actions towards Iran in recent months with a “mixed-up mind.”
“After the illegal move against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, they tried to bring Iranian oil export to zero, which will not materialize. They have also made some miscalculated remarks about Iran’s nuclear cooperation with other countries in contrast with the context of the nuclear deal indicating that they are making decision with mixed-up mind,” said Larijani.
Prior to the announcement of the CSG deployment, Iran’s permanent envoy to the United Nations Majid Takht-e Ravanchi that all US actions are being put under scrutiny by Iranian officials in order to come up with reciprocal actions.
The CSG deployment comes amid an escalation in Gaza between the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups. Some pro-Israeli sources as always blaimed Iran and its “proxies” for the escalation.
Pro-Israeli outlet Axios reported that in the week starting from May 6th, US President Donald Trump is to announce new sanctions against Iran.
In April, the US stopped issuing waivers from US sanctions on Iranian oil exports in pursuit of its “maximum pressure” strategy on the Islamic Republic.
Also in April, the US designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organization, the first time the designation has been applied to a government entity. Iran responded in kind, designating all US troops in the Middle East terrorists.
In response, the Iranian Parliament designated US Central Command as a terrorist organization.
On April 30th, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shared a NYT article, claiming that it is true. The article reports on US National Security Adviser John Bolton and the “B Team,” as well as the group the US allegedly wants to put in charge of the Islamic Republic and on behalf of whom its seeking regime change.
Today the world's catching on to @AmbJohnBolton’s chronic warmongering. But Iranians didn’t need to read a 10,000 word @NewYorker profile to be convinced: we've seen him shill for a cult terror group, and—along with his #B_Team accomplices—target Iranians with #EconomicTerrorism. pic.twitter.com/8n0UHyXOyq
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 30, 2019
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 28, 2019
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- Oil Price Jumps to 6-Month High After US Announces Decision To Discontinue Waivers From Iran Sanctions
- US and Iran Take Unprecedented Steps In Further Escalation