Seth Moulton, presidential candidate, says he doesn't 'trust' U.S

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 16, 2019

There has been a marked increase in US-Iranian tensions since US President Donald Trump's decision to try to cut off all of Iran's oil exports and to designate its Revolutionary Guards as a "foreign terrorist organisation".

Presidential candidate Rep. Seth Moulton said Wednesday he trusts the British assessment of the threat level posed by Iran over the U.S.' belief there are "credible threats" in the Middle Eastern state. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said "a war with Iran would be an absolute disaster".

The United States withdrew staff from its embassy in Iraq on Wednesday out of apparent concern about perceived threats from Iran, with USA sources saying they believe Tehran encouraged the attacks on the oil tankers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the USA must avoid war with Iran, and she says the White House has "no business" moving toward a Middle East confrontation without approval from Congress.

Ten days ago, Trump also ordered an aircraft carrier and nuclear-capable bomber planes to deploy to the Gulf.

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 culprits have yet to be identified, and Iran is claiming innocence.

In his tweets, Trump called both publications "fake news", a phrase the U.S. president used earlier this week to describe a New York Times report that claimed he was considering sending 120,000 troops to the region to prepare for a military confrontation with Iran.

FILE PHOTO: A partial view of the Iraqi capital Baghdad is reflected in the visor of a U.S. Army helicopter crew member as he looks out of a Chinook helicopter flying from the U.S. Embassy to Baghdad International airport on January 9, 2019.

On Monday, the USA embassy advised citizens against all travel to Iraq, telling them to "remain vigilant" and to "keep a low profile".

Despite the insistence that neither party wants conflict, world powers have rushed to urge calm and voiced concern over the escalating tensions.

US Central Command said on Tuesday that there is an increased risk to American forces and allies from Iranian-backed militias in the region.

One or more vessels incurred light hull damage, but what caused the damage and who was behind it remains unknown.

Earlier on Wednesday, the ISNA news agency reported that an Iranian atomic energy official said Iran has officially stopped some commitments under the pact, and has no limit from now for production of enriched uranium and heavy water.

The Dutch defence ministry said Dutch soldiers had also suspended their training mission due to an unspecified threat, local media reported.

Senator Bob Menendez, the senior Democrat on the Senate foreign relations panel, demanded a briefing "immediately" on the threat intelligence, any plans for war and the decision to order embassy staff out of Iraq.

Democrats in Congress demanded that the Trump administration brief them on what it considers to be the Iran threat, warning that the USA legislature has not approved military action against Tehran. The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq took place without the backing of the United Nations and was later dubbed illegal by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

"Abu Dhabi wants these actions", Karasik said of the tension with Iran, "and Saudi [Arabia] tags along".

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