Iran has threatened to launch an attack on Israel if the US launches an assault on it with the aircraft carrier it has moved to the Persian Gulf.
Iranian Parliament’s vice-speaker Ali Motahhari last night said US military forces in the region had started a ‘psychological’ war and warned them not to attack his country.
It comes after the Pentagon deployed the USS Lincoln aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf in a move that US officials said was to counter ‘clear indications’ of threats from Iran.
Iranian has aimed fire at the deployment of the USS Lincoln, the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in the United States Navy, to the Middle East and threatened to retaliate if an attack was ever launched
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.
The U.S. military has sent forces to the Middle East to counter ‘clear indications’ of threats from Iran to American forces in the region
Fearing that ‘anything could happen’ former finance Minister of Israel 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.
Iran threatens to ‘target’ an American aircraft carrier after the USS Abraham Lincoln is deployed to the Persian Gulf
By Reuters and Chauncey Alcorn for the DailMail.com
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.
Amirali Hajizadeh, Iran’s head of the Guards’ aerospace division, said carriers like the Lincoln were ‘a serious threat for us in the past, but now it is a target’
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.’
The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier (pictured) is replacing another carrier rotated out of the Gulf last month
‘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.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC in an interview set to air Monday that if Iran comes after an American interest ‘we are prepared to respond in an appropriate way’