US very prepared for Iran - Trump says | Eurasia Diary -

14 December, Saturday

US very prepared for Iran - Trump says

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President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the United States is very prepared with regard to Iran, hours after his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said that Washington was not seeking war with Tehran.

Tensions have been high between the two foes after attacks on oil tankers in Gulf and Tehran's announcement it would step up uranium enrichment.

Pompeo had declared that the US would maintain its pressure campaign on Tehran and continue to deter its hostile acts in the region.

“We have been engaged in many messages, even this moment right here, communicating to Iran that we are there to deter aggression,” Pompeo told reporters at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since Washington blamed longtime foe Iran for Thursday’s attacks on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane.

In an interview with Time magazine released Tuesday, Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Tehran from having a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would sanction the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies. He said the attacks on tankers so far had “been very minor.”

“President Trump does not want war and we will continue to communicate that message while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region,” Pompeo said.

“Now we need to make sure that we continue to do that so that we ultimately we get the opportunity to convince Iran that it’s not in their best interest to behave in this way.”

Meanwhile, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook plans to travel to Paris next week for talks about Iran with senior British, French and German officials, a senior European diplomat and another source familiar with the matter said, according to Reuters.

The meeting was expected to take place on June 27, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

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Asharq Al-Awsat

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