Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of Aerospace Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, said on May 12 — in response to the U.S. decision to deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln (shown) with Carrier Strike Group 12 and a bomber task force to the Middle East — that the action has transformed the U.S. presence from a “serious threat” to “a target.”
“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,” a Reuters report quoted Hajizadeh.
“If [the Americans] make a move, we will hit them in the head,” he was quoted by the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).
The United States did not specify exactly where in the Middle East the carrier group was bound for, only that it would be the U.S. Central Command region.
A May 6 AP report in the Military Times quoted National Security Advisor John Bolton’s statement that the United States wants to send a message that “unrelenting force” will be used to counter any attack on U.S. interests or those of America’s allies.
“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,” Bolton said.
As far back as October 2017, former Representative Ron Paul — a noted noninterventionist on foreign policy — wrote: “Unfortunately Iran is one of the few areas where the president has been very consistent [in his foreign policy]. And consistently wrong.” Commenting on a speech that Trump delivered the previous week, Paul wrote:
Nearly every assertion in the president’s speech was embarrassingly incorrect. Iran is not allied with al-Qaeda, as the president stated. The money President Obama sent to Iran was their own money. Much of it was a down-payment made to the US for fighter planes that were never delivered when Iran changed from being friend to foe in 1979. The president also falsely claims that Iran targets the United States with terrorism. He claims that Iran has “fueled sectarian violence in Iraq,” when it was Iranian militias who prevented Baghdad from being overtaken by ISIS in 2014. There are too many other false statements in the president’s speech to mention.
Paul attributed the president’s incorrect statements on Iran to the fact that his number one advisor on Iran was his ambassador to the UN at the time, Nikki Haley. Of Haley, Paul noted: “She has no prior foreign policy experience, but her closest mentor is John Bolton — the neocon who lied us into the Iraq war.”
If Paul’s assessment of Bolton is correct, will he also lie to Trump to get us into another war with Iran? Let us hope that Trump is wiser than former president George W. Bush and disregards Bolton’s advice.