By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
In 2015, I had the privilege of hearing John Bolton speak at a National Religious Broadcasters’ convention in Nashville, and most of his remarks had to do with the disastrous agreement between the U.S. and Iran that was soon to be signed. I remember him clearly saying, “This is a bad deal all the way around.” How right he was, and I for one was glad when the president began to get us out of entanglement with the Islamic Republic beginning a year ago, even if no other country followed suit.
So, things are starting to heat up, as we knew they would. A week ago, the Pentagon announced that if necessary, it would deploy a battery for launching Patriot missiles to the Middle East in order to defend against threats from Iran. In addition, an amphibious ship, which could facilitate better launch capabilities for the Marines, would be deployed to the area.
Recently, the Pentagon presented a plan to top national security aides that calls for up to 120,000 troops deploying to the Middle East. Included in the plan is a cyber-attack that has the potential to cripple the infrastructure of Iran which would be launched if Iran attacks U.S. forces or increases the speed of its nuclear program. The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln is one of the ships that would be utilized in the Gulf to facilitate airborne bombing raids. The shifts in resource allocation came after a new intelligence report was delivered to Congress on May 3.
Iran is calling U.S. assets in the region a target, according to Reuters, which cited a report in the Iranian Students’ News Agency (INSA).
“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,” said Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Iranian Guards’ aerospace division.
“If (the Americans) make a move, we will hit them in the head,” he added, according to ISNA.
In addition, over the weekend, four oil tankers off of the coast of the United Arab Emirates were damaged by drones for which Yemeni Houthis have taken responsibility. The Iranian government has called it a, “regretful incident,” tensions have increased, and the link between the Houthis and Iran is indirect but powerful. It is thought at this time that Iran does not directly control or support the Houthi rebellion in Yemen, but is glad to see the Houthis go after the Saudis, who are considered Iran’s rival, second only to Israel.
The IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) is known to send speed boats at U.S. Navy ships in the Gulf, with the intention of provoking a military response.
“It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens,” President Trump stated to reporters Monday in response to questions about the attack on the Saudi tankers.
“The president has been clear, the United States does not seek military conflict with Iran, and he is open to talks with Iranian leadership,” Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesman, wrote in an email to the New York Times on Monday. “However, Iran’s default option for 40 years has been violence, and we are ready to defend U.S. personnel and interests in the region.” As much as I am for peace, I am glad to hear that we are not going to be giving Iran any money-for-hostages any time soon, and that our president is not afraid to stand up to them. Prayerfully we will not get “hit in the head.”
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner