Sunday, 18 August, 2019

USA issues warning on airspace near Gulf as Iran tensions simmer

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky. passes reporters as he and other top congressional leaders head to a classified briefing on Iran after members of both parties asked for more information on the White House's claims of rising threats Trump 'does not want war with Iran'
Patty Aguilar | 20 May, 2019, 17:16

The U.S. also has ordered nonessential staff out of its diplomatic posts in Iraq.

The recent sabotage near Fujairah and drone attacks on Saudi oil installations by Yemeni rebels are reminders that the clouds of war are still looming.

On Friday, Mohammad Saleh Jokar, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's deputy commander, said that Iranian missiles could reach United States warships in the Gulf. "What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me", the president said in the White House on May 9.

"Safeguarding the [nuclear accord] is possible through practical measures, and not only through supportive statements", Zarif was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA, during a trip to China and Japan.

Washington has piled up military pressure on Tehran over the past week by intensifying deployment including an aircraft carrier group to the Middle East following USA intelligence information revealing "an escalating of threatening actions" from Iran.

Iran does not want a confrontation with the United States, nor is it interested in escalating tensions. Those allegations, and other reports of Iran's suspected missile activity, have served as the basis for the Pentagon's Middle East-tasked Central Command placing troops in the region on heightened alert.

That is likely to infuriate Iran and raise questions over the future of OPEC, of which Iran is an influential member. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he promised to stay out of overseas conflicts, saying the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were too costly.

Responding to reports of infighting between him and his advisers, such as White House national security adviser John Bolton, Trump tweeted, "There is no infighting whatsoever".

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The IEA said Iranian crude production fell in April to 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd), down from 3.9 million before Washington announced in May 2018 it would withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions. "We don't want Iraq to become an arena for an Iranian-American war".

There may be a point to remembering the diddimilarities between Iran and Iraq.

A state department release says Mr Pompeo spoke with Oman's Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said on Wednesday about "Iranian threats to the Gulf region".

"The big question is how Iraqi leaders will deal with (their) national interests in a country where loyalty to external powers is widespread at the expense of their own nation", Iraqi political analyst Watheq al-Hashimi said.

So far there have been no reactions from regional airlines and their hubs. The JCPOA was supposed to be a win-win agreement in terms of lifting sanctions on the Islamic Republic to provide them benefits for abiding by the agreement in exchange for restricting Iran's nuclear ambitions. The probability of such a confrontation between Iran and the United States remains highly unlikely, and as mentioned earlier, a misunderstanding or a miscalculation in the region could convince the president to take retaliatory action against Iran, while Iran can retaliate back, and this is extremely risky. Saudi Arabia and Israel appear to be the only United States allies today willing to start a war that few in the world want to risk.

"I'm sure that Iran will want to talk soon", Trump added, indicating his preference for direct negotiations if needed, which would be contrary to the advice of some advisors, the WSJ reported.

Moulton counts as a mentor former Vice President Joe Biden, who now leads the 2020 Democratic field in support.

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