Intelligence gathered by the United States during November points to a potential threat from Iran to U.S. forces and American interests in the Middle East, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has reported.
One unnamed U.S. official told CNN that there has been “consistent intelligence in the last several weeks”, which has caught the attention of officials.
The information gathered by military and intelligence agencies has gone up the command chain, but it is not clear if President Donald Trump has been briefed on the situation.
The information gathered shows “movement of Iranian forces and weapons” that can be used for a potential attack.
Since Washington strengthened U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports in May, Iranian officials have issued many threats against “the enemy” and its regional allies. “Enemy” is a term used primarily to label the United States.
Oil tankers were mysteriously hit by mines or other weapons in the Persian Gulf region, raising strong suspicions that Iran was behind it and wanted to send a signal that if it cannot export its oil, it is capable to create danger for others.
Then Iran shot down a U.S. drone in June, claiming it crossed into its territory and U.S. was on the brink of launching a military response, but President Trump changed his mind in the last minute.
A relatively large-scale attack in September on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations also was directly blamed on Iran by the U.S. and its allies.
Officials told CNN that when USS Abraham Lincoln entered the Persian Gulf last month, it took specific precautions.
Iran was gripped by widespread anti-government protests in mid-November and it is possible they were either taking precautionary steps fearing unforeseen events or might be tempted to engage in a limited military adventure to divert attention from domestic troubles.