USA pulls staff from Iraq, says Iran gave 'blessing' for tanker attacks

Lester Mason
May 16, 2019

U.S. president Donald Trump also denied a report that his administration has updated plans to send more than 100,000 troops to counter Iran if necessary.

Trump denied any discord in White House over moves that critics say could lead to war in the Middle East.

On Tuesday, both Iran and the US made it clear they do not want the growing tensions to escalate to war.

AsCommon Dreamsreportedon Tuesday, U.S. officials are - without any concrete evidence - attempting to blame Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz over the weekend.

Talking more about USA military action against Iran under the pretext of allegations that Iran is preparing strikes against U.S. forces in the Middle East, the article said: "The United States is poorly prepared for another conflict in the region; it has the support of none of its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, not even - as Mr. Hunt made clear - Britain".

The anonymous American official's assessment aligns with that of foreign policy observers, who have urgently warned in recent days that the Trump administration is escalating tensions with Iran in an effort to provoke an attack and spark an all-out war.

On a visit to London last week the USA secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, stood alongside Jeremy Hunt and insisted: "We share the same perception of the Iranian threat". They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond.

On a visit to Tokyo on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif told his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono that his country's response to the US actions - America's pullout from the nuclear deal previous year and the imposition of USA sanctions - is within the deal and Iran's rights.

Tehran remains "committed" to the nuclear deal thrashed out with world powers despite Washington's withdrawal, Zarif said, adding that Iran had been assessed as in compliance with the multilateral agreement.

Some observers speculate Tehran is seeking to retaliate over Washington's decision in April to put Iran's Revolutionary Guards on a terror blacklist - a move created to stymie their activities across the Middle East.

A damaged Andrea Victory off the Port of Fujairah. British deputy commander of the anti-Daesh coalition, Major General Christopher Ghika, was quoted saying yesterday that Iran was not upping aggression through the militias it backs.

The governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Norway are notifying the United Nations that four commercial ships were targeted and at least three of them were damaged in the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates on May 12.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika said in a briefing to the Pentagon "there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces" in the region, according to The Guardian.

The remarks come amid rising tensions in the Mideast, with allegations of sabotage targeting oil tankers near the Persian Gulf, a drone attack by Yemen's Iranian-allied rebels and the dispatch of USA warships and bombers to the region.

The German military announced on Wednesday that it had suspended all training operations in Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan Region due to tensions arising from the current Iran crisis, Germany's DPA news agency reported.

Khamenei continued: "This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war. That's Congress's job - and that's why I'm supporting this legislation to prevent a war with Iran".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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