Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Trump threatens additional sanctions on Iran amid inflamed tensions

Attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week has ratcheted up tensions between the U.S. and Iran Attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week has ratcheted up tensions between the U.S. and Iran
Patty Aguilar | 23 June, 2019, 05:40

Trump disclosed Friday that he called off a USA military strike on Iran at the last minute, saying it would be a disproportionate response to Thursday's downing of the unmanned U.S. aircraft over the Strait of Hormuz.

Al Jazeera's John Hendren, reporting from Washington, DC, said Trump's comments appear to be aimed at defusing the festering frictions.

"We will call it 'Let's make Iran great again, '" Trump said.

Trump also claimed he had been told 150 Iranians would be killed adding: "I didn't like it".

The US has asked the United Nations Security Council to meet on Iran behind closed doors on Monday, diplomats said on Friday. "I didn't think it was - I didn't think it was proportionate".

But he had said military action is still an option and brandished the threat of sanctions ever since. Iran has insisted it has no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons, but recently indicated that it may no longer abide by the 2015 deal since the US had reneged on its commitments. And when they agree to that, they are going to have a wealthy country, and they are going to be so happy, and I'm going to be their best friend. "I hope that happens", Trump told reporters at the White House just before boarding Marine One to Camp David.

Meanwhile, Trump also said he was open to renegotiating another deal with Iran.

President Trump said on Saturday that his administration was preparing an additional round of sanctions on Iran amid heightened tensions between the two countries.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi reiterated the regime's position that it will confront any threats by the U.S. over the shooting down of an unmanned U.S. Navy drone by the Islamic Republic.

Iran's state news agency IRIB News and IRNA, the Islamic Republic News Agency, have released video and images that claim to show debris of the drone, an RQ-4 Global Hawk.

Head of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division Brig.

"It is possible that a United States general or some operators were behind this American aggression, we don't know that", Hajizadeh pointed out.

The United States launched cyber attacks against Iranian missile control systems and a spy network this week after Tehran downed an American surveillance drone, USA media reported on Saturday.

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To prove that the drone had entered the Iranian airspace in the Strait of Hormuz, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps on Friday put on display the wreckage of the drone.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has also posted maps with detailed coordinates on Twitter, saying that they showed that "there can be no doubt" that the USA drone was over Iranian territorial waters. "Until then, our diplomatic isolation and economic pressure campaign against the regime will intensify".

The US military said operations at the base were going on as usual and there were now no plans to evacuate personnel.

Iran is now also seeking to renegotiate the nuclear deal with European countries, arguing that the deal must be improved amid US sanctions or the regime will begin enriching uranium up to 20 percent - just a step below weapons-grade level. The sanctions had been lifted under the pact in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme.

The United States Cyber Command launched a retaliatory cyber-attack against an Iranian intelligence group on Thursday, who are allegedly responsible for bombing oil tankers on May 12 off the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Gulf of Oman.

"There was complete unanimity amongst the president's advisers and defense department leadership on an appropriate response to Iran's activities".

Both Trump and Netanyahu call that agreement a mistake and say Obama gave Iran a sweetheart deal.

These cyber attacks aren't the first time the USA and Iran have dueled online.

Currently, Israel is anxious about ongoing US-Iranian tensions and is preparing for any possible escalation which could affect its own interests.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also called for a political resolution of the crisis, adding: "That is what we are working on".

Britain's Foreign Office said Middle East minister Andrew Murrison would visit Tehran tomorrow to raise concerns about "Iran's regional conduct and its threat to cease complying with the nuclear deal".

"The Europeans will not be given more time beyond July 8 to save the deal", Mousavi said, referring to Iran's deadline of 60 days that Tehran announced in May. That comes after the US Federal Aviation Administration stopped American airlines flying over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

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