U.S. expected to discuss sending more troops to M-E

U.S. expected to discuss sending more troops to M-E

In an address to a military gathering in Tehran on Monday, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri lashed out at the USA and its cronies for accusing Iran of involvement in the June 13 attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman.

He said the Iranian regime "has supported terrorism and spread death and destruction over the past decades not only in the region, but the whole world".

The United States and Saudi Arabia have accused Iran of carrying out attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday - accusations that Tehran dismisses.

"The United States is considering a full range of options".

For Abe, who is determined to demonstrate Japan's influence in global affairs and capacity to serve as a diplomatic bridge in troubled regions, the escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran at the time of his visit was a hard lesson about the Middle East's realities.

On the question of whether the United States to shift additional forces to the region, Pompeo responded: "President trump clearly stated that Iran will not get nuclear weapons".

Many analysts are anxious that unintended incidents and miscalculations between Washington and Tehran might ultimately trigger military conflicts.

Mr Pompeo said there was "unmistakable" evidence that Iran was to blame for the attacks on two oil tankers, but was emphasising worldwide diplomacy over any military response. The crew of the Kokuka Courageous saw a "flying object" before a second blast on board, the operator's head said Friday. The timing of attacks was especially sensitive because it came as the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, held talks with the Iranian leadership in Tehran in an effort to find a basis for discussions between the USA and Iran.

With geo-political tensions running high and the U.S. pointing the finger at Iran it remains to be seen what happens next.

Tensions have escalated in the Mideast as Iran appears poised to break the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, an accord that President Donald Trump repudiated past year.

The U.S. alleges Iran used limpet mines to target the tankers on Thursday, pointing to black-and-white footage it captured that American officials describe as an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel removing an unexploded mine from the Japanese-operated tanker Kokuka Courageous.

"What you should assume is we are going to guarantee freedom of navigation throughout the strait", he said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday".

Iran has repeatedly warned in the past that it could block the strategic Hormuz Strait in a relatively low-tech, high-impact countermeasure to any attack by the US.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in remarks published Sunday that the kingdom will not hesitate to confront Iranian threats to its security.

Britain's ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire, meanwhile, has denied Iranian media reports that he had been summoned to the Foreign Ministry in protest at the UK's "unacceptable anti-Iran stances".

That article explained that "Iran has two naval forces with separate missions and commands", and it asserted that this "adds a layer of complexity" to the nation's responsibility for the attacks, even if the United States account thereof is correct.

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