Iran has aimed fire at the deployment of US military forces in the Persian Gulf and threatened an attack on Israel if the aircraft carrier was ever used against them.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday the Iranian Parliament’s vice-speaker Ali Motahhari said the military forces based in the region had started a ‘psychological’ war in the region and warned the US against an attack on the Middle Eastern nation.
The comments come after the Pentagon deployed the USS Lincoln, the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in the United States Navy, to the Middle East in a move that officials said was to counter ‘clear indications’ of threats from Iran.
In addition to the deployment of the aircraft carrier, the country has also sent over B-52 bombers to the area.
The aircraft, which has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and was commissioned in 1989, will be replacing another carrier that was removed from the region in April.
Mr Motahhari told FARS news agency: ‘The US military forces’ deployment in the Persian Gulf is more of the nature of psychological warfare. They are not ready for a war, specially when Israel is within our range.’
His comments resonate with those of the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s air force Amir Ali Hajizadeh who called the move a ‘serious threat’ and said that if the US decided to make a move, Iran would be forced to retaliate.
Speaking to the Iranian Students’ News Agency he 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.
‘If [the Americans] make a move, we will hit them in the head.’
In addition to having allies Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Iran also has a number of explosive missiles aimed at Israel making the country a dangerous threat.
Fearing that ‘anything could happen’ former finance Minister of Israel Yuval Steinitz told Ynet news: ‘Things are heating up. I wouldn’t rule anything out. Iran may fire rockets at Israel.’
He added: ‘The American sanctions are breaking the neck of the Iranian economy, and a new and stronger wave [of sanctions] is still to come.’
On Sunday it was revealed that President Trump had increased economic pressure on Iran and was looking to cut off all its oil exports in a bid to get Tehran to curb its nuclear and missile programs.
A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander warned on Sunday that the presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf used to be a serious threat, but now represents a target, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency.
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.
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 to be broadcast on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. 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 that ‘our aim is not war.’
Iranian navy commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said on Sunday that American forces must exit the Gulf, according to ISNA. ‘The presence of the Americans in the Persian Gulf region has reached its end and they must leave the region,’ Khanzadi said.
Major General Hossein Salami, appointed head of the Guards last month, told parliament on Sunday the United States had started a psychological war in the region, the parliamentary spokesman said.
‘Commander Salami, with attention to the situation in the region, presented an analysis that the Americans have started a psychological war because the comings and goings of their military is a normal matter,’ spokesman Behrouz Nemati said, according to parliament’s ICANA news site.
Per: Daily Mail