Published: Thu, May 16, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Imminent Threat: State Department Pulls Staff From Iraq

Imminent Threat: State Department Pulls Staff From Iraq

"It would be an act of gross negligence if we did not take the necessary precautions in the light of credible threat streams", said one of the unnamed officials who briefed reporters on Wednesday, on the department's condition of anonymity. "The Trump administration has not provided any information to this committee on the intelligence behind their decisions or what they plan to do in Iraq or Iran, and I have repeatedly reminded the administration of its responsibilities to this committee", Menendez said.

Though declining to name a suspect in the sabotage, Gargash says "Iranian behavior" is at the center of regional problems.

Two top Iraqi security sources also said today the USA has intelligence revealing Iran-backed militias have been positioning rockets near bases housing U.S. forces.

With tensions between the two nations reaching risky levels, U.S. Democratic presidential candidates have joined progressive anti-war groups in vowing to oppose the Trump administration's efforts to start a military conflict with Iran.

Pelosi warned that the administration can not rely on the most recent use-of-force authorization approved by Congress almost 20 years ago for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last week, National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that a US aircraft carrier strike group, B-52 bombers and a Patriot missile battery would be deployed to the region in response to intelligence suggesting Iran or its proxies are preparing to target USA interests.

A senior Democratic senator demanded President Donald Trump's administration brief Congress on the Iran threat, warning that the U.S. legislature has not approved military action against Tehran.

"We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran", echoed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Sochi, Russia.

Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are at war with Saudi Arabia and are believed by the West to receive weapons from Iran, said earlier Tuesday that they launched seven drones targeting vital Saudi installations.

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Instead, Rottgen described recent United States rhetoric as "saber rattling".

On Tuesday, Spain temporarily pulled one of its frigates from the US-led combat fleet heading towards the Strait of Hormuz.

"Anti-US sectarian militias may also threaten US citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq", it said.

A senior Iranian official said on Wednesday that any conflict in the region will have "unimaginable consequences". "It is easy to throw accusations but it is a hard situation, there are serious issues and among them is Iranian behavior", he said.

The culprits have yet to be identified, and Iran is claiming innocence.

According to theNew York Times - whichreportedMonday that President Donald Trump has reviewed a Bolton-crafted plan to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East to threaten Iran - Trump administration officials are having a hard time convincing America's European allies to join them on their march to war. That would find scant support from Americans, and for good reason: "Until Mr. Trump began his escalation, Iran was observing the nuclear deal and did not pose an imminent threat to the United States".

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement previous year and is ratcheting up sanctions on Iran, aiming to strangle its economy by ending its global sales of crude oil.

Some analysts think that reports that the United States is considering options to dramatically increase the number of troops it has in the Middle East are part of a pressure campaign against Iran.

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