Iran: Trump wants talks, Bolton wants conflict
The United States is deploying a carrier strike group and bomber task force to the Middle East, a warning to Iran that attacks to U.S. interests will be met with “unrelenting force,” national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday.
The move comes amid the Trump administration’s strategy to isolate Iran’s regime and strangle its economy.
“In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region 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,” Bolton said in a statement. “The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.”
Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions against any country, including U.S. allies, that imports Iranian oil, the country’s top source of income. The administration also designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, pushing an increasingly aggressive stance toward Tehran.
The two countries have been at odds for decades, and Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal last year hardened tensions.
Bolton’s statement followed violence in southern Israel Sunday, as Gaza militants struck towns and cities, killing at least three people.
In depth: Inside Iran
Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies that have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007.
U.S. President Donald Trump called for peace on Sunday night via Twitter.
“Once again, Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We support Israel 100% in its defense of its citizens,” Trump tweeted. “To the Gazan people — these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace – it can happen!”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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