The U.S. is sending the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in order “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime,” National Security Adviser John Bolton announced Sunday night.
Bolton said the deployment was in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” on the part of Tehran, but did not elaborate. Such deployments are rarely announced in advance.
“[A]ny attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force,” Bolton said. “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.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Finland on Monday, told reporters the deployment is “something we’ve been working on for a little while” and “we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests. If these actions take place, if they do by some third-party proxy, a militia group, Hezbollah, we will hold the Iranian leadership directly accountable for that.” – READ MORE