World Media

UAE says to show restraint after tanker attacks, Iran must change behaviour

Pompeo and Putin

An alert on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said all nonessential, non-emergency U.S. government staff were told to leave Iraq immediately under State Department orders.

The Iraqi source said USA staff were headed for a military base at Baghdad airport.

"We have to avoid any war with Iran", Pelosi told her colleagues, according to a person in the room, who was granted anonymity to discuss the private caucus meeting.

Capitol Hill is paying close attention.

"The German army has suspended the training", defence ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff said, adding there was "generally heightened alert, awareness" for soldiers now operating in the region.

Dutch officials said they would be suspending its training of Iraqi soldiers "until further orders" while the USA and Iran try to work things out.

Both the USA and Iran have said they do not want war, and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday that he had indications "things will end well" despite the rhetoric.

Not yet. But Reuters news agency cited Iraqi security sources as saying that during a visit to Iraq earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Iraqi commanders that intelligence showed Iran-backed paramilitary fighters were positioning rockets near bases housing US troops.

The US has about 5,000 troops in Iraq and about 2,000 in Syria as part of the coalition campaign to defeat the Islamic State group there.

"I'm sure that Iran will want to talk soon", President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter on May 15. JCPOA is commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.

In possibly related news, four oil tankers in the Middle East - two owned by Saudi Arabia, one owned by the United Arab Emirates and one owned by Norway - were recently damaged by what Saudi and US officials described as "sabotage" attacks, according to CBS News.

The U.S. State Department on Wednesday said it was withdrawing all non-emergency staff from its Baghdad embassy and its consulate in Erbil.

"There is a new efflorescence, a new renaissance of relations between us and many of our Arab neighbors and many non-Arab Muslim countries".

Trump is sending an aircraft carrier group, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East to counter what the United States calls a heightened threat from Iran to us soldiers and interests in the region.

Iran's top security body dismissed this as "psychological warfare".

Iran denied involvement, though it has repeatedly threatened to block the strait, through which streams about a fifth of world's oil shipments, if the United States tries to stop Iran from exporting oil.

"A war with Iran would be an absolute disaster", Sanders added.

It was also reported on Tuesday that USA investigators believed Iran or groups it supported had used explosives to damage four tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

"They have no business declaring a war without the consent of Congress", she said.

Many have spoken in favour of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, reached between the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany during the Obama Administration, even after Trump pulled the US out of the deal past year and imposed sanctions on Iran.