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Iranian cleric says US fleet ‘can be ruined with a single missile’

A high-ranking cleric in the Iranian government said Friday that a U.S. carrier strike group headed to the Persian Gulf could be ruined by a single missile fired by Iran’s military, the latest threat from Tehran amid heightened tensions with the U.S.

Ayatollah Tabatabai-Nejad, who serves in Iran’s Assembly of Specialists, declared that “their billion (-dollar) fleet can be ruined with a single missile,” Reuters reported, citing an Iranian news agency.

“If they make an attempt any move, they will…(face) dozens of missiles due to the fact at that time(President Hassan Rouhani’s) officials won’t be in charge to act carefully , but instead things are going to be in the hands of our beloved leader (Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” Tabatabai-Nejad added, in accordance with the news service.

The Trump administration declared Sunday that it can certainly deploy the carrier strike group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln to the region along with a bomber task force to address “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”

Tabatabai-Nejad, a hard-line conservative cleric, is seen as close to Khamenei in the country, as per Reuters, and his threats could indicate growing pressure from Iran’s conservative wing to press tensions with the U.S.

A top official with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard addressed the tensions as well, stating that “no talks are going to be held with the Americans, and the Americans will never dare take military action against us,” Reuters revealed.

Iran’s government sees the U.S. as “unreliable” following the Trump administration’s determination this past year to abandon the 2015 nuclear contract with Iran, the Revolutionary Guard official reportedly included.

White House national security adviser John Bolton claimed this week that the U.S. is not going to take military action in the region unless Iranian military forces or allied militia groups attempt such an act first.

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, however, we have been completely ready to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,” he said.

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