The United States is sending the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to "send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime."
National Security Advisor John Bolton announced the move in a statement Sunday night and said it was a move "in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings," including a bloody conflict between Iranian-funded Palestinian terrorists in Gaza and Israel.
"(Any) attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force. The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces."
The deployment comes just weeks after President Donald Trump designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terror group.
Fox News reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters the deployment is "something we've been working on for a little while" and "we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests. If these actions take place, if they do by some third-party proxy, a militia group, Hezbollah, we will hold the Iranian leadership directly accountable for that."
Axios reported Sunday that the Trump Administration will launch a new round of sanctions against Iran on Wednesday, one year after the US pulled out the Obama-era Iran sanctions.
The deployment comes on the backdrop of the worst conflict between Israel and Gaza since 2014.
Last Friday, two Israeli soldiers were injured by snipers from the Iran-backed militant group Islamic Jihad. Islamic Jihad and Hamas launched nearly 700 rockets at Israel over the weekend, killing four Israelis.
Israel's former National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror told The Israel Project Sunday that Iran was behind the escalation in Gaza.
Amidror said Islamic Jihad, unlike Hamas, is completely owned by Iran.
"It was established by Iran, financed by Iran, and does what Iran wants it to do."
Hamas, Amidror said, was "dragged" into the escalation between Israel and Gaza.