The White House announces the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force after an American official confirmed Iran and its proxies were possibly planning an attack on U.S. forces.
The announcement was made late Sunday after National Security Adviser John Bolton released a statement saying there were “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” leading the U.S. to believe the Islamic Republic was planning an attack.
BREAKING: Statement from the National Security Advisor John Bolton: pic.twitter.com/sGm0NYOgbe
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 6, 2019
Bolton made it clear the U.S. is not seeking to go to war with Iran, though it will not tolerate any attack targeting Americans or their allies.
Bolton went on to say any attack by the Islamic Republic or its proxies would activate “unrelenting force” by the United States targeting its attackers.
The USS Abraham Lincoln was in the Mediterranean at the time of the announcement, is likely already headed toward the Middle East.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 6, 2019
This comes as tension between Washington and Tehran has mounted in recent weeks, and during the last year since the U.S. withdrew from the Iranian Nuclear Accord.
In early May, President Trump designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization over its sponsorship of terrorism in the region and abroad.
Shortly after, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S. would grant no more sanctions waivers for nations importing oil from the Islamic Republic.
Maximum pressure on the Iranian regime means maximum pressure. That’s why the U.S. will not issue any exceptions to Iranian oil importers. The global oil market remains well-supplied. We’re confident it will remain stable as jurisdictions transition away from Iranian crude.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) April 22, 2019
Iran responded to the decision by formally designating U.S. forces overseeing the Middle Eastern Central Command as a terrorist organization, further escalating the bilateral tension.