A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander threatens to target United States Navy Aircraft carrier deployed in the Persian Gulf
The United States’s military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but now represented a “target” and “opportunity”, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander said, raising the rhetoric as US forces head towards the region.
‘If (the Americans) make a move, we will hit them in the head,’ he added
The U.S. has sent forces, including an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers, to the Middle East in a move that officials said was to counter ‘clear indications’ of threats from Iran to American forces in the region.
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The USS Abraham Lincoln is replacing another carrier rotated out of the Gulf last month.
President Donald Trump has increased economic pressure on Iran, moving to cut off all its oil exports in a bid to get Tehran to curb its nuclear and missile programs as well as end support for proxies in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
Speaking to CNBC in an interview which was slated to be broadcast on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the military deployments came in response to intelligence about potential Iranian attacks and aimed both to deter them and to be able to respond if necessary.
“We’ve seen this reporting,” Pompeo said. “It’s real. It appears to be something that is current, that is things we’re worried about today.
“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,” he said, adding “our aim is not war”.
Iranian navy commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said that American forces must exit the Gulf. The presence of the Americans in the Persian Gulf region has reached its end and they must leave the region,’ Khanzadi