IRGC vows to target USS Abraham Lincoln ‘if Attacked’

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has declared that it adamantly refuses any form negotiations with the United States – that after U.S. President Donald Trump insisted last week that he is open to talk with Iranian leaders on curbing Tehran’s malign activities in exchange for sanctions relief. Islamic Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Division commander, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, claimed that the naval deployment of the U.S. S. Abraham Lincoln, which significantly increases Washington’s firepower in the region, provides Iran with military opportunities. Hajizadeh was quoted by an Iranian news agency as saying, “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 (Iran) in the past, but now… the threats have switched to opportunities.” He then levelled a stern warning to Washington by vowing that “If (the Americans) make a move (the IRGC) will hit them on the head;” a threat backed by a top Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Yousef Tabatabai-Nejad, who boasted the carrier fleet heading to the region could be “destroyed with one missile.” The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to TV7’s request for comment.

Meanwhile in Brussels, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini underscored the European Union’s continued support for the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, which in her perception “remains a key pillar of security in (Europe’s extended) region.” Mogherini made the statement to reporters ahead of a Foreign Affairs Council meeting this morning, in which ‘the European Union’s efforts to preserve the multilateral deal were among the topics of discussion.’ The European top diplomat also took the opportunity to signal her dismay about “regional developments” pertaining to the Islamic Republic’s malign activities, and underscored that “dialogue is the only and best way to address differences and avoid escalation in the region.” The comments came ahead of a last-minute decision by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make a one-day stop in Brussels today, during which he held talks with his European counterparts on the issues regarding Iran. The U.S.-E.U. meetings follow warning to Tehran by senior European officials’ dire consequences for deciding to scale-back its commitment to the nuclear pact, granting the Ayatollah regime sanctions relief for agreement to limit its nuclear program.