Iran says US aircraft carrier ‘psychological war’

Monitoring Desk

TEHRAN: Commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami has described the U.S. dispatch of an aircraft carrier to the Middle East as a “psychological war”.

“The U.S. is seeking by this step to intimidate the people and some military officials of the occurrence of war,” the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Salami as saying at a parliamentary session on Sunday.

“The American war against Iran is not possible, because Washington does not have the ability and the courage to wage war against it,” he said.

The Iranian commander ruled out the possibility of a U.S. military action to what he called “the strength of our armed forces on the one hand, and the vulnerabilities of the U.S. aircraft carriers on the other.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on four Iranian metal sectors in the latest component of President Donald Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran after sending a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the region in response to unspecified threats from Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran would resume high-level enrichment of uranium to near weapons-grade levels if Tehran’s interests in the nuclear deal are not protected within 60 days. The Trump administration has been working to scuttle the 2015 deal world powers, including the U.S., struck with Iran, including re-imposing oil sanctions Washington lifted as part of the deal after Trump unilaterally withdrew in May 2018. (AA)