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Pompeo Says ‘Quite Possible’ Iran Behind Gulf Incidents

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday it was “quite possible” Iran was responsible for sabotage of Gulf oil interests as he prepared to brief lawmakers on rising tensions. Pompeo cautioned that the United States has not made “a definitive conclusion” that can be presented publicly over …

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As Tensions Rise, US Lawmakers Await Briefings on Iran

WASHINGTON —  In word and deed, the administration of President Donald Trump has been sounding the alarm over Iran and its proxies. “If American interests are attacked, we will most certainly respond in an appropriate fashion,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned last week. Later this week, U.S. officials …

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Trump tweets threat: ‘If Iran wants to fight, that will be the end of Iran’

Donald Trump has issued one of his most direct threats yet to Tehran, warning that “if Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran”. The US president emerged from his golf club in Sterling, Virginia, on Sunday to tweet belligerently at around 4.30pm, thereby risking a quickening of …

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In Trade War, How Much Can Beijing Fight Back?

BEIJING —  China’s retaliatory measures against the United States in their ongoing trade war have raised questions about the limitations of Beijing’s ability to fight back. Beijing’s retaliation did not match the size of Washington’s action of raising tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. …

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Iran’s Regional Proxies Ensure It Will Never Fight Alone

BEIRUT —  In the event of war with the United States, Iran “will not be alone.” That message was delivered by the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group to a mass rally in Beirut in February marking the 40th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution. “If America launches war on Iran, …

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Germany’s Merkel Welcomes European Unity Over Iran

BERLIN —  German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that Europe needs to “reposition” itself in a changing world and is welcoming European powers’ unity over Iran, a contrast with their deep divisions over the Iraq war 16 years ago. Merkel said in an interview with Germany’s daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung released Wednesday …

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US wants non-emergency embassy staff to leave Baghdad, Erbil amid tensions with Iran

The US State Department on Wednesday ordered all non-emergency staff to leave its embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Erbil, as tensions mount between the United States and Iraq’s neighbour Iran. Washington has ramped up pressure on Tehran in recent days, accusing Tehran of planning “imminent” attacks in the region, …

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Trump Denies Report He’s Considering 120,000 Troops to Counter Iran

PENTAGON — U.S. President Donald Trump has rejected a report that he is considering sending 120,000 troops to counter Iran, but didn’t rule out deploying “a lot more” soldiers in the future. “I think it’s fake news,” Trump said of a New York Times report that the White House is …

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European Allies Warn US Over Tensions With Iran

STATE DEPARTMENT —  Top officials from the European Union are calling on the United States to use “maximum restraint” and avoid military escalation with Iran. “[U.S. Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo heard very clearly from us — not only from myself but also from the other ministers of EU member …

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US air carrier in the Gulf a target not a threat: Iran commander

War of words intensifies but former US admiral doesn’t expect the situation to escalate despite ‘the media hype’. The American military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but now represented a “target” and and “opportunity”, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander said, raising the rhetoric as …

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