U.S. military disputes British general's doubts over Iranian threat to US

Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside the southern city of Bushehr

Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside the southern city of Bushehr

The US State Department has issued a security alert and ordered staff to evacuate Iraq amid escalating tensions with neighbouring Iran.

On a visit to London last week the U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, stood alongside Jeremy Hunt and insisted: "We share the same perception of the Iranian threat".

"As the Secretary of State I have a responsibility to keep the officers that work for me safe each and every day, all around the world".

Democrats in Congress demanded that the Trump administration brief them on what it considers to be the Iran threat, warning that the United States legislature has not approved military action against Tehran.

Capitol Hill is paying close attention.

In a speech to state officials delivered on Tuesday, Khamenei said escalating tensions with the USA will remain a diplomatic confrontation, rather than the beginning of a major military clash, France24 reported.

On Tuesday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, insisted the showdown between the Islamic republic and the United States was a mere test of resolve.

Germany said Wednesday its military suspended training of Iraqi soldiers due to the tensions but stressed there was no indication of any specific threat to its own troops. Iraq is home to powerful pro-Iranian militias, while also hosting more than 5,000 U.S. troops.

Iranian officials have said that they could reach 20% enrichment within four days. US officials have not publicly provided any evidence to back up claims of an increased Iranian threat.

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Tensions in the region have risen since US officials last week cited intelligence reports that neighboring Iran or its proxy forces were planning attacks on USA forces or interests, which Iran has denied.

Iran no longer recognizes the limit for production of enriched uranium and heavy water, an informed official in the country's atomic energy body told the ISNA news agency on May 15.

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 USA officials described as "sabotage" attacks, according to CBS News.

US Central Command later said Ghika's remarks "run counter to the identified credible threats" from Iranian-backed forces in the Middle East.

The senator noted that he was fully engaged with setting up a congressional coalition meant to force the president to request Congress' consent, should he make up his mind to start a military confrontation with Iran.

President Trump reinstated the sanctions past year after abandoning a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

He reportedly told senior officials that his country won't negotiate with the United States, calling such talks "poison".

"They have no business declaring a war without the consent of Congress", she said. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Former CIA chief John Brennan responded by tweeting, "Your refusal to accept the unanimous assessment of U.S. Intelligence on Iran, No. Korea, ISIS, Russia, & so much more shows the extent of your intellectual bankruptcy".

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