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Trump 'anger' at 'warlike planning' over Iran

18 May 2019

While U.S. officials have released photos of small Iranian boats with missiles, many observers in Europe, Iraq and the United States Congress say the missiles are likely defensive.

"We think they should de-escalate and come to negotiations", the official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

General Keane, 76, was on Mr Trump's original shortlist to become defence secretary in 2016 and remains close to him.

That answer echoed what he told his acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan in a meeting Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

The "ability to provide routine and emergency services to USA citizens in Iraq is extremely limited" due to the current security situation, State Department officials said in an alert.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is the perennial politician, a yes man looking out for his own career future, versus National Security Adviser John Bolton, a man at the end of his career who's aggressively pushing his own vision.

On May 5, John Bolton, US national security adviser, announced that the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group would be rushed from the Mediterranean to the Gulf ahead of schedule in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings".

The tour also focuses on regional and global issues, including the nuclear deal and the US' sanctions against Iran.

Since the administration flagged the new threat, the State Department ordered all nonemergency personnel withdrawn from the U.S. Embassy and consulate in Iraq and put other embassies in the region on alert. The accord provided Tehran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program. Bernie Sanders, and obtained by Foreign Policy, highlights the growing concern on Capitol Hill that the Trump administration might stumble into an armed confrontation with Iran.

Asked if the USA was going to war with Iran while receiving Mr Maurer, Mr Trump said: "Hope not". Asked if the United States might be on a path to war with the Iranians, the president answered, "I hope not".

Trump has taken a hard line on Iran since he took office in January 2017.

One European diplomat called on China to buy Iranian oil as it is less exposed to the United States.

Another official said that Bolton and Trump are "just in a different place" and that despite Trump's own criticism of Iran's government, he "wants to talk to the Iranians; he wants a deal".

Trump pulled the USA out of the Iran nuclear deal a year ago and has re-imposed sanctions on Tehran that are crippling its economy.

However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday called the US government a "bully" trying to force all other countries to do something "illegal", according to Press TV.

Speaking of the press, he said, "They make it sound like it's a conflict". The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Mohammad Saleh Jokar as saying that Iran's missiles have a range of 2,000 kilometers - about 1,250 miles - and can attack any target in the region.

"We're going through the intelligence now", Schiff said.

The latest flare-up in tensions started earlier this month, when the Trump administration highlighted an unspecified threat from Iran that endangered the lives of USA forces in the region.

"What if this is exactly where the Iran hawks in the administration and throughout Washington want us to be?" The preparations do not indicate any Iranian intention to initiate hostilities, but information gathered about them gets fed into the USA discourse as supposed "threat information". If Iran refuses to do a deal, how does he escalate the standoff with them?

Trump 'anger' at 'warlike planning' over Iran