Neoconservative hawk John Bolton announced on Sunday night that a full aircraft carrier strike group and bomber task force will be deployed to the Persian Gulf region.
This is the culmination of weeks of saber-rattling between the two countries over oil export sanctions on Iran and conflict over access to the Strait of Hormuz.
ZeroHedge reports that this announcement will likely be seen by Tehran “as a major and potentially dangerous escalation.”
The statement released reveals that CENTCOM is responding to multiple “troubling and escalatory” Iranian actions:
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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 US 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.
In the past week, Iran has vowed to maintain its oil exports even after the White House declared that it will be taking them down to “zero.”
This is a result of the end of the waiver program which permits up to eight countries to continue their crude oil purchases from Iran on a conditional and limited basis.
Plus, Iran maintains its position of patrolling the Strait of Hormuz. Estimates have one-third of the world’s oil going through this passageway.
LCN recently reported on the Trump administration’s designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. Now, it remains to be seen if the US military will engage IRGC fast boats who usually patrol this area. CENCOM naval assets operate in the same area so the potential for conflict is high.
Along with recent declarations in Venezuela, elements of the Trump administration like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo have increased their saber-rattling against countries like Iran and Venezuela.
This is a stark contrast from Trump’s America First policy which stressed the importance of non-interventionism abroad.
It remains to be seen if Trump will stick to his campaign principles.