Iran Could Iraq play a role in easing US-Iran tensions?
18 Mai, 2019, 03:44 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
The embassy said it could provide only limited emergency services to United States citizens. "We have exercised maximum restraints", he said during a visit in Japan.
These comments come as the U.S. recently sent an aircraft carrier and bomber groups to the Persian Gulf, allegedly to "counter Iranian threats".
"The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime", he said, "but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or regular Iranian forces".
US President Donald Trump has expressed a similar sentiment recently when he told his acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, he does not want to go to war with Iran, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing unidentified administration officials.
The administration declined to specify what specifically prompted the staff withdrawal, but defense and security officials have warned in recent weeks there were "escalatory indications and warnings" and a "credible threat" posed by Iran.
The sanctions were introduced by president Trump due to Iran developing nuclear weapons and threatening allies like Israel.
The officials said intelligence about the behavior of Iraqi militias directly linked to Iran had been amassing over more than a week, suggesting that the militias had started making preparations for an attack on Americans.
Iraq's status as an area of shared influence between Iran and the United States leaves the country's leaders with few options. Normal visa services at United States offices in Baghdad and Erbil would be suspended.
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Azari added that Asaib Ahl al-Haq, which is a close ally of Tehran, will confront any attempt to attack Iraq's neighbors from Iraqi soil "with all possible means".
On Sunday, mysterious attacks by unknown assailants against four ships in the region, including two from Saudi Arabia, sent war talk up another notch.
It did not give details about the nature of the threats.
The Pentagon has also made plans to move 120,000 troops to the region if Iran attacks U.S. forces or advances their nuclear weapons program, according to a report in The New York Times on Monday.
The move by the British government resembles a sharp change of policy from Wednesday, when the Foreign Office said it wasn't going to follow the USA withdrawal and a British general contradicted Washington's assessment of the security situation, saying of Iranian militias "No, there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria".
The comments by Major General Chris Ghika, a British spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, drew a sharp retort from US Central Command. Earlier this month, Iran responded by threatened to reduce compliance and increase uranium enrichment, prompting the U.S. to step up its response.
Last week, Iran notified non-U.S. signatories of the nuclear deal-China, France, Germany, Russia, and the UK-of its decision to halt some commitments under the nuclear deal. They have also told reporters that further military action is on the table.
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