US sends aircraft carrier and bomber task force to ‘warn Iran’
US national security advisor John Bolton said that the US has sent an aircraft carrier and bomber task force to the Middle East “to send a clear and unmistakeable 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 claimed that the deployment was a reaction to various “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings”.
Iranian state media criticized Bolton’s statement for not being “genuine” and claimed that the national security advisor was just attempting to “talk up” a “regularly scheduled” US Navy deployment.
Tensions between the US and Iran have escalated in recent weeks. Last week an Iranian news agency published footage that allegedly showed how an Iranian military drone was closely monitoring a US warship in the Persian Gulf. The US Navy dismissed the story, saying that the vessel in question had not entered the Persian Gulf since 2016. The week before, the US announced it would stop issuing waivers for the largest importers of Iranian oil, after which Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman if it would be barred from using it.