The United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to send a message to Iran, National Security Advisor John Bolton announced Sunday.
He said in a statement that the decision had been made, “In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” but did not elaborate. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the US decided to do so based on new intelligence that suggests allied interests and American forces could be imperiled.
Bolton added that the goal behind the move is “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.”
Last month, President Donald Trump designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including its Quds Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
On April 22, The White House officially announced the end of ‘sanctions waivers’ to eight countries that allowed them to trade oil with Iran, increasing the “maximum pressure” campaign on the Islamic Republic.
“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the White House said in a statement.
Axios, an American news site, reported Sunday that a new wave of sanctions could be announced as early as Wednesday, which will mark a year since Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.