WASHINGTON—The United States is deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to send a clear message to Iran that any attack on U.S. interests or its allies will be met with “unrelenting force,” U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.
Amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran, Bolton said the decision was “in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”
A U.S. official told ABC news that the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln and the bomber task force had been in response to “clear indications” that Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region either on land or at sea.
The United States is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East on short…
“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,” Bolton said in a statement following the surprise announcement from the White House.
It marked the latest in a series of moves by President Donald Trump’s administration against Iran in recent weeks.
Washington has said it will stop waivers for countries buying Iranian oil, in an attempt to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero. It has also blacklisted Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Trump administration’s efforts to impose political and economic isolation on Tehran began last year when it unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal that the Obama administration and other world powers negotiated with Iran in 2015.
“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,” Bolton said.
…”that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.” -National security advisor John Bolton
— Holly Kellum (@HollyGailK) May 6, 2019
— Strategic Sentinel (@StratSentinel) May 6, 2019
Bolton, who has spearheaded current U.S. policy on Iran, did not provide any other details.
According to ABC News, the USS Abraham Lincoln was in the Mediterranean at the time of the announcement after leaving Norfolk, Virginia, on April 1.
The U.S. official told ABC News, “The movement of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to the region was expedited and it was ordered there effective immediately.”
By Matt Spetalnick. With reporting by Epoch Times staff.