Leaks, Drones, Mystery Attacks: US-Iran Tensions Boil Hot, But…

15 May, 2019, 03:46 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Turkey to continue buying oil from Iran despite US pressures

A US official told The Associated Press that American naval investigators were assisting the Emiratis with their probe of the incident. 8 and 9 on the East-West pipeline, which carries Saudi oil from the Eastern Province to Yanbu port, were attacked by armed drones, igniting a fire that caused minor damage to Pump Station No. 8, but it was eventually brought under control.

Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage on Sunday although Washington had no conclusive proof, a USA official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday. "Our policy has been consistent now ... we're looking for Iran to behave like a normal country". The landmark pact imposed limits on Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

Pentagon officials revising plans to add additional troops to the Middle East to counter Iran is more routine, says Ashford.

The ambassador was responding to a report from The New York Times that said acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently presented a plan to top national security officials that would send as many as 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East in the event that Iran strikes American forces in the region or speeds up its development of nuclear weapons.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday that neither the United States nor Iran wanted war, and Iraq was in contact with both, state news agency INA reported.

The Times said the plans do not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require many more troops.

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Tensions have been high in the region lately, with Washington recently allegingIran had targeted U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq and is responsible for hundreds of deaths of United States servicemen.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards, designated a terrorist organization by Washington, threatened last month to close the Hormuz chokepoint if Tehran was barred from using it. "There will be no negotiations with America", General Yadollah Javani said. Calling for the "clarification of the exact dimensions of the incident", he also warned "against plots by ill-wishers to disrupt regional security". The U.S. Congress voted to withdraw American support to the coalition earlier this year, but President Trump vetoed the measure.

Saudi Arabia said drones attacked one of its oil pipelines as other assaults targeted energy infrastructure elsewhere in the kingdom on Tuesday, shortly after Yemen's rebels claimed a coordinated drone attack on the Sunni power. The Trump administration warned of severe consequences for any Iranian aggression, while Iran has threatened to exceed limits on its nuclear program. "Looks like you are going to get a war instead", he said on Twitter.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also reiterated that the Islamic Republic would not negotiate with the United States on another nuclear deal. "Taking us into a war without congressional authorization would be unconstitutional and illegal".

Following that, Iran delivered a letter to European states still interested in adhering to the 2015 nuclear deal demanding that they fulfill their commitments under the agreement or Iran would return to enriching uranium.

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