John Bolton’s unexplained threat to use “unrelenting force” against Tehran has raised US-Iran tensions to a new high.
The US government is sending a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East based on vague claims of Iranian threats to U.S. military forces.
The announcement came from National Security Advisor John Bolton in a statement that lacked any specifics on what prompted the threats, or his decision to advertise the pre-arranged deployment of military reinforcements to the Middle East. The Iranian government has labeled the deployment and the accompanying threats as “psychological warfare.”
Perennial warhawk, Bolton singled out Iran, as cause for concern. “The US 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’s statement read.
Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, repeated the threats, accusing Iran of “escalatory actions.” “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,” he said.
The broadening of the range of potential Iran-related US targets is significant.
The official statement from Bolton:
“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. 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.”
Photo: “The Abraham Lincoln and John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Groups .” by Official U.S. Navy Page is licensed under CC BY 2.0