The Trump administration is sending an aircraft carrier group to the Middle East after reportedly receiving intelligence from Israel saying that Iran was allegedly planning an attack on US interests in the region.
The exact nature of Iran's alleged plot isn't clear, but the White House is making it known it won't back down from threats.
The Trump administration made the announcement just days before the first anniversary on Wednesday of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw America from the Iran nuclear deal. The move also comes shortly after the US labeled Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist entity, infuriating the hardline Islamic regime.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday that the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier group was being deployed to the Middle East ahead of schedule. One US official told The Associated Press that Iran could be targeting American troops at land and sea.
While visiting Finland, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran has "threatened many things over the last two years."
"We have continued to see activity that leads us to believe that there's escalation that may be taking place," Pompeo said. "And so we're taking all the appropriate actions, both from a security perspective, as well as our ability to make sure that the president has a wide range of options in the event that something should actually take place."
Axios reports that senior Israeli officials said Israel supplied intelligence to the White House on an alleged Iranian plot to attack US interests in the Persian Gulf.
Axios added that Israeli officials said the threat was against an American target in the Gulf or US allies like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
"And so any time we receive threat reporting, things that raise concerns, we do everything we can both to do, all that we can, to make sure that those planned or contemplated attacks don't take place and to make sure that we've got the right security posture," said Pompeo.
"The American people should know we've done that," he added.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is reportedly planning a speech for Wednesday on the anniversary of the US pullout from the Iran nuclear deal. He will reportedly talk about the next steps his country will take in confronting the United States.