Senior Iranian cleric threatens US carrier
As a US aircraft carrier headed towards the Gulf, a senior cleric warned that a US navy fleet could be "destroyed with one missile."
The carrier Abraham Lincoln, deployed by the Trump administration to the Middle East as a warning to Iran, passed through Egypt's Suez Canal on Thursday.
American B-52 bombers have also arrived at a US base in Qatar, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said. Iran has dismissed the dispatch of both the bombers and the aircraft carrier as "psychological warfare" designed to intimidate it.
The semi-official ISNA news agency, reporting from the central Iranian city of Isfahan, quoted Ayatollah Tabatabai-Nejad as saying: "Their billion (-dollar) fleet can be destroyed with one missile."
"If they attempt any move, they will... (face) dozens of missiles because at that time (government) officials won't be in charge to act cautiously, but instead things will be in the hands of our beloved leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei)," he said.
Tabatabai-Nejad is the representative in Isfahan of Supreme Leader Khamenei, who is widely seen to be close to hardliners who oppose Rouhani and his moderate allies.