U.S. Is Threatening Iran on the Basis of 'Fake Intelligence,' Iran's U.N. Ambassador Warns, as American Warships Near Arabian Sea

The U.S. is drifting toward conflict with Iran on the basis of false intelligence, just as it did in the lead up to the calamitous Iraq War, the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations warned.

Majid Takht Ravanchi delivered his warning on NBC News on Thursday as the carrier strike group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln passed through the Suez Canal on its way to the Arabian Sea.

The carrier group, along with a deployment of bombers, has been sent to the region to deliver a warning to Iran that the U.S. will not tolerate any moves against its interests in the region.

National Security Adviser John Bolton announced the deployment on Sunday, citing "troubling and escalatory indications and warnings" from Iran.

A prominent hawk who has called for military action against Tehran, Bolton did not specify what troubling indications prompted the deployment. He added that the forces would "send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States' interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.

"The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime," he continued. "But, we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces."

Ravanchi dismissed Bolton's statement, which was described by a spokesperson for Iran's Supreme National Security Council as "clumsy" psychological warfare earlier this week.

"These are all allegations which are being produced by the same people who, in the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, did the same," Ravanchi told NBC News. Bolton worked in George W. Bush's administration during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

"So we do not accept such an allegation," Ravanchi said. "And all of these [allegations] are fake intelligence."

On Thursday, President Donald Trump repeated Bolton's warning, suggesting he had information that Tehran was "threatening" the U.S. He also provided no additional details. "We have information that you don't want to know about," the president said, adding "we don't want to have to do anything."

Trump suggested he was open to dialogue with Iran, which may break the impasse that has formed since the president withdrew the U.S. from the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

"What I'd like to see with Iran, I'd like to see them call me," Trump said. "I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We're not looking to hurt Iran."

USS Abraham Lincoln Iran US threat fake intelligence
The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier on January 2, 2005, at sea in the Indian Ocean. The carrier is currently leading a strike group toward Iran. Philip A. McDaniel./U.S. Navy via Getty Images
U.S. Is Threatening Iran on the Basis of 'Fake Intelligence,' Iran's U.N. Ambassador Warns, as American Warships Near Arabian Sea | World