Top US lawmakers press Pompeo for answers on Iran arms control report

Top US lawmakers press Pompeo for answers on Iran arms control report

Iran has not made any direct public threats to spark the United States deployment.

Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions and wants to speak directly with Iran's leaders, the officials said, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

"There's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria", British Maj.

However, the rebel move was greeted with great scepticism by coalition forces fighting to restore Yemen's government, who accused the Houthis of putting fighters in civilian coast guard and police uniforms in order to retain control of the ports, through which 70% of Yemen's food, fuel and aid flow.

Now, the claims are built around the idea that the Iraqi militias are moving rockets into areas where they'd be within range of U.S. military bases. The country hosts more than 5,000 USA troops, and is home to powerful Iranian-backed militias, some of whom want those US forces to leave.

Ghika's statement undercut the justification being given for the USA war buildup, which has seen the deployment off the Iranian coast of a battleship-carrier strike group, led by the USS Abraham Lincoln, and a bomber task force, including nuclear-capable B-52s.

"Nobody is going to start a war with them (Iran), but I think they should be defanged and, you know, things like their naval capabilities, things like their missile capabilities should be downgraded at least to make their capacity to inflict such unsafe activity more painful, more costly", Shihabi said.

In the US Congress, Democrats demanded to know why the Trump administration was boosting its Gulf presence and, according to media reports, considering war plans that would involve sending 120,000 US troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American assets. Gen. Chris Ghika, a senior officer in the US -backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

"It fits their MO [modus operandi]", said the official, who asked to remain anonymous.

The statement did not provide a reason for the evacuation.

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Germany and the Netherlands have halted all training missions in Iraq as tensions continue to rise between the USA and Iran, which supports proxy militias there.

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 us intelligence agencies and some State Department officials.

Tuesday's attacks and Sunday's attacks on four tankers off Fujairah emirate have raised concerns that the U.S. and Iran might inching toward military conflict.

One. On Monday, Saudi and United Arab Emirates officials said three oil tankers and a barge anchored at Fujairah near the strategically important entrance to the Gulf were damaged in an alleged "sabotage" operation. The US has for the past year pursued a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, applying sanctions to force Tehran to moderate its aggressive behavior and come to the table for a new nuclear deal.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Berlin "still regards this nuclear agreement as the basis for Iran not having any nuclear weapons in the future, and we regard this as existential for our security". The new LNG tariff adds to a previous 10% tariff from China on US LNG.

Tensions have been further escalated after a drone attack on pumping facilities of Saudi Aramco, the state-run energy company of Saudi Arabia's ruling monarchy.

That "high level of alert" affects how USA troops operate, limiting the movement of non-essential service members and requiring them to bring full equipment "everywhere they go for protection and security", a US official said on Wednesday. "As always we work closely with the United States of America".

The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen carried out several air strikes on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Thursday after the Iranian-aligned movement claimed responsibility for drone attacks on Saudi oil installations.

Under the accord negotiated by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment capacity, a potential pathway to a nuclear bomb, in return for sanctions relief.

On that very same day, Tehran announced it was suspending some of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was signed in 2015 to limit the country's nuclear activity.

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