Trump Warns Iran Not to Threaten US 05/20 06:21

Trump Warns Iran Not to Threaten US    05/20 06:21

   President Donald Trump warned Iran early on Monday not to threaten the 
United States again or it'll face its "official end," shortly after a rocket 
landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad overnight.

   DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- President Donald Trump warned Iran early 
on Monday not to threaten the United States again or it'll face its "official 
end," shortly after a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad overnight.

   Trump's tweet comes after he seemingly sought to soften his tone on Iran 
following days of heightened tension sparked by his administration's sudden 
deployment of bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf over 
still-unspecified threats.

   In the time since, officials in the United Arab Emirates allege four oil 
tankers sustained damage in a sabotage attack. Yemeni rebels allied with Iran 
launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia. U.S. diplomats 
relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and 
attacked, something dismissed by Tehran.

   All these tensions are the culmination of Trump's decision a year ago to 
pull America out of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. And while both 
Washington and Tehran say they don't seek war, many worry any miscalculation at 
this fraught moment could spiral out of control.

   The tweet from Trump early on Monday came just hours after a Katyusha rocket 
fell in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone near the statue of the Unknown 
Soldier, less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, causing no injuries. Iraqi 
military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told The Associated Press that the 
rocket was believed to have been fired from east Baghdad. The area is home to 
Iran-backed Shiite militias.

   "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran," Trump 
tweeted. "Never threaten the United States again!"

   Trump did not elaborate, nor did the White House.

   Trump campaigned on pulling the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord, which saw 
Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of 
economic sanctions. Since the withdrawal, the U.S. has re-imposed previous 
sanctions and come up with new ones, as well as warned nations around the world 
they would be subject to sanctions as well if they import Iranian oil.

   Iran just announced it would begin backing away from terms of the deal, 
setting a 60-day deadline for Europe to come up with new terms or it would 
begin enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels. Tehran long has 
insisted it does not seek nuclear weapons, though the West fears its program 
could allow it to build atomic bombs.

   In an interview aired Sunday on the Fox News Channel, Trump called the 
nuclear deal a "horror show."

   "I just don't want them to have nuclear weapons and they can't be 
threatening us," Trump said.

   However, the nuclear deal had kept Iran from being able to acquire enough 
highly enriched uranium for a bomb. U.N. inspectors repeatedly certified that 
Iran was in compliance with the accord.

   In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's military intercepted two missiles fired by 
the Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen. The missiles were intercepted over the 
city of Taif and the Red Sea port city of Jiddah, the Saudi-owned satellite 
channel Al-Arabiya reported.

   The channel cited witnesses for the information. The Saudi government has 
yet to acknowledge the missile fire, which other Saudi media also reported. 
Hundreds of rockets, mortars and ballistic missiles have been fired into the 
kingdom since a Saudi-led coalition declared war on the Houthis in March 2015 
to support Yemen's internationally recognized government.

   Between the two targeted cities is Mecca, home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that 
Muslims pray toward five times a day. Many religious pilgrims are now in the 
city amid the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

   Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet on Sunday announced it would begin 
"enhanced security patrols" in international waters with members of the Gulf 
Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia 
and the United Arab Emirates.

   Already, the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, the amphibious assault 
ship USS Kearsarge and others are in the Arabian Sea, waters close to the 
Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of 
all oil traded at sea passes.


(KA)

© 2019 CHS Inc.