RNA - “This is a provocation and an attempt to intimidate Iran,” said James Petras, a retired professor who has published on political issues with particular focus on Latin America, the Middle East and imperialism.
“They’re combining military encirclement, economic strangulation, propaganda and trying to undermine the economy; so you have several lines of attack,” Petras told Press TV on Sunday.
“At any moment, the US can launch an attack, may be not a full scale ground attack, but certainly air and naval attack and this would provoke Iran to respond, in which case the war could escalate,” he added.
The United States is ratcheting up economic and military pressure on Iran, with US President Donald Trump on Thursday urging Tehran to talk to him.
"What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me," Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday.
But then he said he would not rule out the possibility of military action in Iran amid escalating tensions before slamming former Secretary of State John Kerry for his involvement in the issue.
His remarks came after John Bolton, the hawkish US national security advisor, said on Sunday that the United States is sending an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in a "clear and unmistakable" message to Iran.
The Pentagon announced on Friday that the US is deploying an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to bolster an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers already sent to the Persian Gulf.
A senior member of the Iranian Parliament said Sunday the United States does not seek a military confrontation with Iran and is only waging a "psychological war" against the Islamic Republic.
The head of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, made the remarks after a closed-door meeting of lawmakers with the new chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Major General Hossein Salami, on Sunday.