Published: Mon, May 20, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Iran's Guard says it can hit warships in region

Iran's Guard says it can hit warships in region

Employing the policy, Washington left a multilateral nuclear deal, reached between Iran and the six major powers - the U.S., UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany, last year. US diplomats warned Saturday, May 18, 2019, that commercial airliners flying over the wider Persian Gulf faced a risk of being "misidentified" amid heightened tensions between the USA and Iran.

Zarif earlier accused Washington of an "unacceptable" escalation in tensions, and said Tehran was showing "maximum restraint".

"Such allegations are part of the U.S. psychological warfare against Iran and the Iranian people will not capitulate", Miryousefi said, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.

Washington deployed more troops in the Persian Gulf, one of the world's most strategic waterways, in what the USA officials claimed was a reaction to photographs showing Iran had loaded missiles onto small traditional boats, The Times of Israel reported.

Hakim said Iraq's point of view is that any moves could escalate the situation in the region, which is experiencing heightened tensions between Iran and the US, should be avoided.

The Chinese govt's top diplomat, Impart Councillor Wang Yi, instructed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday that China resolutely opposes unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States.

"We think they should de-escalate and come to negotiations", the official, who declined to be identified, told a small group of reporters.

Saudi paper, close to MBS, calls on USA to strike Iran
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed that sentiment, saying in Sochi, Russia: 'We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran '. Zarif late Thursday dismissed Trump's prediction of talks, telling reporters: "I don't know why President Trump is confident".

On Thursday Saudi state media called for "surgical strikes" against Iranian targets in response to the attack on the oil tankers.

An Arab News editorial, published in English, said it's "clear that [U.S.] sanctions are not sending the right message" and that "they must be hit hard", without elaborating on what specific targets should be struck.

In Washington, a senior administration official said the United States is "sitting by the phone" but has heard no message yet from Iran that it is willing to accept Trump's overtures for direct talks. It was rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018 after being described by him as "one-sided".

Relations between Washington and Tehran have been strained in recent days after Trump issued a resolution to try to stop Iran's oil exports completely, and bolstered the USA military presence in the Gulf in response to what officials in its administration said were "imminent" Iranian threats to Washington's interests in the region, without explaining the nature of the alleged threat.

"What the military and the intelligence are concerned about is the intent", the US official told AFP.

The historic 2015 deal between Iran and world powers including the European Union and the USA, offered sanctions relief to Iran for scaling back its nuclear programme.

"Although Iran likely has no intention to target civil aircraft, the presence of multiple long-range, advanced anti-aircraft-capable weapons in a tense environment poses a possible risk of miscalculation or misidentification, especially during periods of heightened political tension and rhetoric", the warning said. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, the ranking member, demanded that the administration "immediately provide this committee with a briefing on the decision to order the departure of embassy staff" and "the intelligence on what Iran may be planning to do and any plans to go to war with Iran".

Like this: