Yemeni rebels allied with Iran used drone aircraft to launch an attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia. If the Iranian threats against American personnel and interests are activated, we must deliver an overwhelming military response.
Oman long has served as a Western backchannel to Tehran and the sultanate hosted the secret talks between the USA and Iran that laid the groundwork for the nuclear deal negotiations. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said in a tweet earlier Monday that Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, had warned about "escalating tensions" with Iran. Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told The Associated Press that the rocket was believed to have been fired from eastern Baghdad.
The powerful Lebanese Hezbollah militia has thrived for decades on generous cash handouts from Iran, spending lavishly on benefits for its fighters, funding social services for its constituents and accumulating a formidable arsenal that has helped make the group a significant regional force, with troops in Syria and Iraq.
Some Republican allies of Trump have called for the United States to be ready with a major military response, but leading Democrats have accused the White House of hyping the intelligence, saying that Iran's actions were predictable responses to USA moves. "Also, Trump is not quite balanced and stable in his decision making, so we are dealing with a confused White House".
The errant rocket fired into the Green Zone, one of the most heavily fortified enclaves on the planet, was immediately attributed by the USA media to Iran or its "proxies", even though no one has claimed responsibility for the incident and there are a multitude of factions and people in the country who have every reason to want to lob a missile at the USA embassy, or for that matter, at the seat of Iraq's corrupt bourgeois government. Mr Zarif referenced both Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan as two historical leaders that Persia outlasted.
He said: "Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone". He added, "Try respect-it works".
Tensions in the Gulf have spiked since the US stopped granting waivers to buyers of Iranian oil early this month, tightening sanctions slapped on the Islamic Republic after President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the nuclear deal a year ago.
Bolton, who advocated regime change in Iran before joining the White House previous year, is "just in a different place" from Trump, a senior US official told The Post, although the president has been a fierce critic of Iran since long before he hired Bolton.
Relations between Washington and Tehran plummeted a year ago when Trump pulled out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and imposed tough sanctions. That shrunken ability to deal with the outside world and decreasing government revenues are Iran's two main concerns at the moment, he said.
Top Democrats say Trump escalated problems by abruptly withdrawing the USA from the Iran nuclear deal, a complex accord negotiated during the Obama administration to prevent Iran from nuclear weapons production.
Quoting an official at the Natanz enrichment plant, the semi-official Tasnim said Iran was accelerating the production rate at which it refines uranium to 3.67 per cent fissile purity, suitable for civilian nuclear power generation. United Nations inspectors repeatedly certified that Iran was complying with the accord. "I only want them to call if they are ready".
Whatever we can get you in the negotiations to the deal is fine.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who was joined at the briefing by the United States military chief, Gen. Joseph Dunford, said the USA response had made an impact. Oman long has served as a Western backchannel to Tehran and the sultanate hosted the secret talks between the USA and Oman that laid the groundwork for the nuclear deal negotiations.
Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group claimed responsibility for attacking the pumping stations. A Saudi-owned satellite news channel reported that two missile were intercepted over the city of Taif and the Red Sea port of Jeddah.
The channel cited witnesses for its information.