United States orders non-essential embassy staff to leave Iraq amid Iran tensions

United States orders non-essential embassy staff to leave Iraq amid Iran tensions

And on Wednesday, the State Department announced it was evacuating all non-emergency staff from neighboring Iraq, closing the USA embassy in Baghdad and the US consulate in Erbil.

The United States also is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers into the region in response to the still-unspecified Iran threat, further ramping up tensions a year after President Donald Trump withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

However, both the New York Times and Washington Post published articles on Wednesday alleging that American allies have pushed back against recent US-led escalation with Iran.

Washington has sent additional military forces to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles in a show of force against what United States officials have said is a threat to its troops and interests in the region.

"But this threat is serious and we want to reduce the risk of harm". Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu may be the only world leader who has proactively praised the Trump Administration's tough stance on Iran.

Earlier on Wednesday, the ISNA news agency reported that an Iranian atomic energy official said Iran has officially stopped some commitments under the pact, and has no limit from now for production of enriched uranium and heavy water. The United Arab Emirates said on Monday that four commercial ships off its eastern coast "were subjected to sabotage operations", but it has not named who it thought was behind the incident.

The State Department warns that "the US government's ability to provide routine and emergency services to USA citizens in Iraq is extremely limited". That war was sold to the American people based on a series of lies about weapons of mass destruction.

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Some observers speculate that Tehran is seeking to retaliate to Washington's decision in April to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran as a terrorist organization in an effort to stymie their activities across the Middle East.

The attack on the tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-fifth of the world's oil consumption flows, appeared created to test the resolve of the U.S. and its Sunni Muslim allies without triggering a war, analysts said.

On May 12, the embassy in Baghdad advised USA citizens against travel to Iraq, citing "heightened tensions" in the country.

Former CIA chief John Brennan responded by tweeting, "Your refusal to accept the unanimous assessment of U.S. Intelligence on Iran, No. Korea, ISIS, Russia, & so much more shows the extent of your intellectual bankruptcy".

The Trump administration has alleged that Iran or its allied forces could launch an imminent attack on American troops or United States allies in the region.

It was not immediately clear what led to the order on Wednesday.

The senator noted that he was fully engaged with setting up a congressional coalition meant to force the president to request Congress' consent, should he make up his mind to start a military confrontation with Iran. "If (the administration) were contemplating military action with Iran, it must come to Congress to seek approval", he said.

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