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10 May, 2019 12:51

1 missile can destroy ‘billion-dollar fleet’, Iran cleric says as US carrier sails to Gulf

1 missile can destroy ‘billion-dollar fleet’, Iran cleric says as US carrier sails to Gulf

A senior Iranian cleric has warned the US against displays of power, saying that one missile could destroy a fleet worth billions of dollars. His words come as America sends an aircraft carrier group as a message to Iran.

Ayatollah Yousef Tabatabai-Nejad, who represents the Isfahan Province in Iran's Assembly of Experts, said on Friday that the US' “billion-dollar fleet can be destroyed with one missile,” according to the Iranian ISNA news agency. He did not elaborate, though, which particular missile he had in mind.

Earlier, a deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps also made it clear he sees Washington’s muscle-flexing as empty bravado. The US “will not dare to launch a military action against us,” Yadollah Javani told Tasnim News Agency.

1 missile can destroy ‘billion-dollar fleet’, Iran cleric says as US carrier sails to Gulf

This week the US sent the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group as well as a bomber task force to “send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime,” as US National Advisor John Bolton put it. However, the move apparently failed to impress Tehran.

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Bolton indeed admitted that the US “is not seeking war with the Iranian regime.” But he also stated that any attack on the interests of the US or its allies “will be met with unrelenting force.”

These statements come amid another spiral of tension in relations between Washington and Tehran. The US aircraft carrier deployment follows a fresh round of sanctions imposed against the Iranian nuclear energy sector.

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The US has also spared no efforts in mounting pressure on Tehran following its own withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal a year ago. In April, the US lifted exemptions granted to the buyers of Iranian oil and designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group. Iran responded by adding the US Central Command (CENTCOM) to its own terrorist list.

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