The Pentagon has increased its presence in the Middle East in an apparent counter to rising Iranian activity around the one year anniversary of the death of Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Politico reported Monday that US President Donald Trump overruled acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on Sunday when he ordered the USS Nimitz, a supercarrier of the US Navy, to remain in the Persian Gulf, despite previously being instructed to return home to Naval Station Everett in Washington amid heightened tensions with Iran.
The move came shortly after Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s judiciary chief, announced that Soleimani’s murderers would be brought to justice. The Iranian general was killed near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020, during an airstrike authorized by Trump.
Satellite imagery recently released by US-based company Planet Labs showed what appeared to be so-called “cluster” activity by IRGC vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
Two former Mossad chiefs and a former national security council chief recently spoke with The Jerusalem Post and argued that any action taken by Tehran to avenge Solemani would likely not occur until after the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.
He also went on to suggest that Esmail Ghaani, the current commander of the Quds Force, is not on par with Soleimani in terms of…