Mixed Messages: US defense officials divided over potential for Iranian attack on eve of grim anniversary

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The US flew nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the Middle East Wednesday in the latest show of force meant to deter Iran, as defense officials remain divided over the risk posed by the regime and the Iraq-based militias it supports.

Pentagon officials say the military muscle-flexing is meant to warn Tehran off attacking American interests or personnel in the days surrounding the January 3 anniversary of the Trump administration’s assassination of the powerful Iranian leader Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

At the same time, acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller decided Wednesday against a push to extend the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz’s deployment to the Persian Gulf, sending it out of the region in an explicit de-escalation signal to Iran, according to a senior defense official

Zarif is the Foreign Minister for The Islamic Republic of Iran

Source: CNN