Published: Wed, May 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

What is Iran's regional strategy in the face of United States military presence?

What is Iran's regional strategy in the face of United States military presence?

Trump dismissed the report as "fake news", but said: "If we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that".

For a year, Iran negotiated with European signatories to the deal to find a way to allow it to continue its trading.

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Saudi Aramco responded to a fire at East West Pipeline Pump station 8 which was caused by a sabotage incident using armed drones which targeted pump stations 8 and 9.

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih Al-Falih, who called the pipeline attack "cowardly", vowed that production and export of Saudi oil would not be interrupted; however, the news sent USA oil prices up 1.4%.

Saudi Arabia offered no immediate confirmation of the report.

The US has previously warned that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region and, in recent days, deployed warships to counter what it called "clear indications" of threats from the country.

The announcement by the kingdom's energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, came as the US issued a new warning to sailors and the U.A.E.'s regional allies condemned the reported sabotage Sunday of four ships off the coast of the port city of Fujairah.

Iran has aimed fire at the deployment of U.S. military forces in the Persian Gulf and threatened an attack on Israel if the aircraft carrier was ever used against them.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Monday the attacks "are alarming and regrettable".

Speaking about the growing tensions between the US and Iran, MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell asked former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency John McLaughlin whether the current escalation is a modern version of "the Gulf of Tonkin".

A United States official familiar with American intelligence identified Iran as a prime suspect yesterday, although Washington has no conclusive proof. Tehran has called the US military presence "a target" rather than a threat.

An adviser to Rouhani, Hesameddin Ashena, meanwhile accused Trump of moving towards war with Iran, instead of trying to reach an agreement on its nuclear programme.

Saudi Arabia did not identify the vessels involved or say whom it suspected of carrying out the alleged sabotage. The UAE asked the USA to help investigate the damage, which Gulf officials have characterised as sabotage.

Qudah reiterated that the security of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Gulf states is one. It said it was investigating "in co-operation with local and worldwide bodies".

Gulf News, a state-linked Dubai daily, said "rogue actors must be brought to book".

"Al-Fujairah Port, which is the sole lifeline for the export of oil from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, has been set on fire".

A third of the world's liquefied natural gas and nearly 20 per cent of total global oil production flows through the Strait of Hormuz for export from Persian Gulf countries.

In Tehran, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cautioned: "Neither we, nor them, is seeking war".

The crude oil price outlook has worsened as the U.S. and China ramp up tariffs on each other's goods in a trade war that could hit worldwide economic growth. Gen. Amos Yadlin, head of the independent Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies (INSS), former military attaché to the United States, and head of the IDF's intelligence directorate, said neither the Iranians nor the United States want a war but "things can easily get out of control, as it happens very frequently between Israel and the Hamas in Gaza".

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