According to a statement made by senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, the U.S.
Navy fleet that was sent to the Persian Gulf to ward off potential threats to commercial interests in the United States is behaving more of a target rather than a serious threat.
On Friday, the Pentagon announced their plans to send the USS Arlington and the Patriot missile battery to the Middle East.
This move was in an effort to deter Iran from making any kind of actions.
This maneuver came after the national security adviser, John Bolton, said that the U.S.
was sending the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region, which the Middle East is a part of.
According to Iranian media, the head of the IRG’s aerospace division, Amirali Hajizadeh, said: “An aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6,000 forces gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past but now it is a target and the threats have switched to opportunities.” Haijizadeh continued by saying: “If [the Americans] make a move, we will hit them in the head.”
During an interview with CNBC, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the move to deploy a military team to the Gulf came in response to intelligence reports that referred to possible attacks from Iran.
Pompeo said: “We’ve seen this reporting. It’s real. It appears to be something that is current, that is things we’re worried about today.”.
Pompeo continued by saying: “In the event that Iran decided to come after an American interest – whether that be in Iraq or Afghanistan or Yemen or any place in the Middle East – we are prepared to respond in an appropriate way … our aim is not war.”
According to a report that Reuters cited from the Iranian media, Rear Admiral Hossien Khanzadi from the Iranian navy demanded that the U.S. leave the region immediately.
Last week, an Iranian cleric warned that Iran could destroy a U.S. naval fleet quite easily. “Their billion[-dollar] fleet can be destroyed with one missile,” said Ayatollah Tabatabai-Nejad.
Ayatollah Tabatabai-Nejad continued by saying: “If they attempt any move, they will ..
[face] dozens of missiles because at that time [government] officials won’t be in charge to act cautiously, but instead things will be in the hands of [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei],” he warned.
This move has come at the end of a multi-year standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.
President Trump caused Iran to become angry when he took the United States out of an Obama-era nuclear deal that granted Iran sanctions relief in exchange for limited monitoring.