Iranian missiles can hit US ships in Gulf: Guards

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2019

US President Donald Trump has said he does not want a war with Iran amid rising tensions between the two countries, according to senior officials.

Pompeo also asked European officials for help in persuading Iran to "de-escalate" tensions, which rose after us intelligence indicated Iran had placed missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf.

General Keane, 76, was on Mr Trump's original shortlist to become defence secretary in 2016 and remains close to him. The State Department revealed today that Pompeo had spoken Wednesday with Sultan Qaboos of Oman, a longtime back channel between the United States and Iran. Still, the president is willing to respond forcefully if there are American deaths or a dramatic escalation, the official said.

According to this narrative, the "Iran hawks" in the Trump administration - people like National Security Adviser John Bolton, or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - sense an opportunity.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton is a fierce critic of Tehran and has been a vocal supporter of toppling its clerical and political establishment.

Bolton was behind the administration's newly drawn-up plans to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East, if Iran attacks United States forces or steps up its nuclear work. Other intelligence picked up chatter about possible attacks on US commercial interests in the region and even American troops and diplomats in Iraq, with the chatter reportedly unusually frequent and specific.

Under the accord, Tehran curbed its uranium enrichment capacity, a potential pathway to a nuclear bomb, and won sanctions relief in return.

Yesterday he denied a New York Times report that the USA had updated its military planning on Iran. Trump told reporters after being asked about the report.

"Top authorities in Iran and America have rejected a war, but third parties are in a hurry to destroy a large part of the world".

Iran's foreign minister says he is not interested in negotiating with the United States after it pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal and reinstated stifling economic sanctions on Tehran.

Meeting in Beijing, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi told Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that given the important and rapidly-evolving situation, the two needed to strengthen communication and coordination. We would seek to play to our advantage over Iran in the air and at sea, and there is said to be a plan for a cyber offensive on the shelf, too.

Ever since the Trump administration unilaterally pulled out of the carefully negotiated agreement that its predecessor concluded between Iran and the principal nuclear powers, including China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom, we've been on a collision course with Iran. "There is no infighting whatsoever", Trump said. "There are serious issues and among them is Iranian behavior".

The rare public dispute between the militaries of the US and Britain reflects the growing unease of USA allies at the buildup of forces against Iran in the region, including the aircraft carrier Lincoln, B-52 Stratofortress bombers, Patriot air defense batteries and other assets.

Iranian diplomat Seyed Hossein Mousavian is a former senior negotiator for Iran on the nuclear issue, and now a research scholar at Princeton University.

The letter cited a Reuters story from April 17 that reported how the administration's annual report to Congress assessing compliance with arms control agreements provoked a dispute with USA intelligence agencies and some State Department officials.

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