Trump’s B-52 flyover a ‘pretext for war,’ Iranian Foreign Minister says
Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in a tweet Thursday that President Donald Trump’s decision to fly U.S. bombers over Iran on Wednesday was a plan to generate an “pretext for war.”
Two B-52 bombers flew to the Middle East from the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to demonstrate their ability to carry out global strikes on short notice, according to the U.S. Central Command. The flyover was made to emphasize the U.S. military’s dedication to security and ability to “deploy overwhelming combat power on short notice,” the military said.
“Instead of fighting Covid in US, @realDonaldTrump & cohorts waste billions to fly B52s & send armadas to OUR region. Intelligence from Iraq indicate plot to FABRICATE pretext for war,” Zarif tweeted.
“Iran doesn’t seek war but will OPENLY & DIRECTLY defend its people, security & vital interests,” Zarif added.
Instead of fighting Covid in US, @realDonaldTrump & cohorts waste billions to fly B52s & send armadas to OUR region
Intelligence from Iraq indicate plot to FABRICATE pretext for war.
Iran doesn’t seek war but will OPENLY & DIRECTLY defend its people, security & vital interests.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) December 31, 2020
The flyover was meant as a deterrent for anyone considering harming Americans or U.S. interests, according to the U.S. Central Command. Bombers have been deployed to the area three times in the last 45 days.
“The United States continues to deploy combat-ready capabilities into the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to deter any potential adversary, and make clear that we are ready and able to respond to any aggression directed at Americans or our interests,” U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie said in a statement.
“We do not seek conflict, but no one should underestimate our ability to defend our forces or to act decisively in response to any attack,” McKenzie added.
Officials are concerned Iran could be planning a retaliatory attack on U.S. interests after a U.S. drone strike killed Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani during a visit to Iraq on Jan. 3, 2020, The Hill reported.
“We’re seeing planning for, particularly in Iraq for complex attacks that require Iranian assistance in order to be pulled off,” a senior military official told Fox News.
A U.S. intelligence report found that Iran may be planning to “avenge [the] killing” of Soleimani and that it has the “potential for other more complex attacks” targeting Americans in Iraq, Fox News reported.