Published: Thu, May 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Iranian Hardliners Suggest More Attacks On UAE And Saudi Interests

Iranian Hardliners Suggest More Attacks On UAE And Saudi Interests

The State Department has ordered all non-emergency personnel to evacuate the US embassy and consulate in Iraq.

Mogherini told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who made a quick stop in Brussels this week, to use "maximum restraint" towards Iran, a play on the US's self-described "maximum pressure campaign" against the country.

The attacks took place against a backdrop of U.S. European nations think that "the Americans are sitting across the ocean, whereas we're right on the doorstep of the Middle East", said Ellie Geranmayeh, a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Capitol Hill is paying close attention. Visa services were suspended at the heavily fortified United States missions.

Last week, USA officials said they had detected signs of Iranian preparations for potential attacks on American forces and interests in the Middle East, but Washington has not spelled out that threat.

Reinforcing Mr Trump's denial, U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo said at a joint news conference in Sochi with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov: "We fundamentally do not seek war with Iran".

Meanwhile, the Netherlands and Germany, which have 160 soldiers in Iraq, suspended military training operations, citing increasing regional tensions.

"Anti-U.S. sectarian militias may also threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq", it said.

Iran is committed to its obligations under an worldwide nuclear deal despite the US withdrawal from the landmark agreement, its foreign minister said on Thursday, calling the reimposition of sanctions by Washington "unacceptable". USA officials have not publicly provided any evidence to back up claims of an increased Iranian threat.

Following the U.S. announcement on Wednesday, the commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said, "We are on the cusp of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy", the Fars news agency reported.

Per the NYT report citing Bolton's alleged plan, United States officials may be preparing to deploy up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East to counter threats coming from Iran.

Earlier this year, Congress forced Trump into the first veto of his administration over a resolution that passed the House and Senate to halt USA involvement in the Saudi-led war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Spokesmen for two of the groups told Reuters that the talk of threats to United States forces was "psychological warfare" by Washington.

Both Washington and Tehran said Tuesday they were not seeking war. "That's Congress's job - and that's why I'm supporting this legislation to prevent a war with Iran".

Still, that hasn't stopped the U.S. from moving ahead with its claims against Iran. In the former conflict, Britain ultimately sent 45,000 troops to aid the United States in the invasion of Iraq, and Australia and Poland sent smaller numbers, while other countries provided political support.

Mr Trump, who past year abandoned the 2015 worldwide nuclear accord with Iran, believes the economic pressure will force Teheran to accept more stringent limitations on its nuclear and missile programmes as well as on its support for proxies in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

It was also reported on Tuesday that USA investigators believed Iran or groups it supported had used explosives to damage four tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

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