The saber rattling continues as the Pentagon has announced the new deployment of an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East in response to “Iran threats” which national security adviser John Bolton first revealed a week ago as based on intelligence confirming US troops in the region face potential attack by Iranian forces and their allies.
The USS Arlington is being sent “in response to indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and our interests,” according to a Pentagon statement. It will join regional CENTCOM deployments in support of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, still en route to the Persian Gulf after traversing the Suez Canal, and a group of B-52 Stratofortress Bombers which landed in Qatar this week.
“The Department of Defense continues to closely monitor the activities of the Iranian regime, their military and proxies,” the Pentagon said. “The United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we are postured and ready to defend US forces and interests in the region,” it added.
Iran, for its part, has dismissed the latest deployments and the underlying intelligence Bolton touted last Sunday as requiring a response as “fake intelligence” and part of a US “psychological warfare” campaign – further noting the carrier strike group’s embarkation was pre-scheduled and merely used as a pretext for escalating threats. – READ MORE