Iran, U.S. Exchange Bellicose Warnings; UK Warns Tehran To Be Cautious

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani More

Saudi Arabia at the same time called for emergency regional talks to discuss mounting Gulf tensions, saying Sunday that it does not want war with Iran but like the U.S.is ready to defend its interests.

Hawkish White House advisers and there allies are said to be pushing for a military confrontation with Iran.

Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, and his administration says it has built up the USA military presence in the region. Trump descried the Iran nuclear deal throughout his presidential campaign, calling it the "worst in history".

Last week, the U.S. evacuated all non-emergency diplomatic staff from their Baghdad embassy and the Erbil consulate, and also put its troops in Iran and Syria on high alert.

Still, since he took office, the United States president has authorised a series of measures that aimed to exert "maximum pressure" on the Iranian government, including a series of harsh economic sanctions on Iran's oil and metals industries.

Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has said his country won't negotiate with President Donald Trump unless the USA shows Tehran "respect" by honoring its commitments under the disputed nuclear deal. Since the US withdrawal, Washington 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.

"I'd say we're in a period where the threat remains high and our job is to make sure that there is no miscalculation by the Iranians", he said.

Both the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported on the quadrupled production quoting Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesmen of Iran's nuclear agency.

Defense officials said no additional Iranian threats or incidents had emerged in the days since the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group arrived in the Arabian Sea late last week.

Jeremy Hunt told journalists in Geneva on Monday that US leaders "are not seeking a conflict, they don't want a war with Iran, but if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate". Enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear power.

Washington's European allies say they share USA concerns about Iran's behavior, but disagree with Trump's decision to pull out of the nuclear deal, arguing that it undermines Rouhani's pragmatic faction and boosts Iran's hardliners.

At this increased rate of production, it won't be long before Iran has a larger stockpile of enriched uranium that is permitted under the 2015 nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration. Iran says that its nuclear program is for civilian energy and medical uses and that it has never sought nuclear weapons.

"We want the situation to de-escalate because this is a part of the world where things can get triggered accidentally", Hunt said.

The cadre of officers who once surrounded the president - which Mr. Trump early in his term proudly referred to as "my generals" - made its final exit January 1 when retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis handed the reins of the Pentagon to Patrick M. Shanahan, a 30-year corporate executive from defense contractor Boeing.

Saudi Arabia has blamed the pipeline attack on Iran.

Trump's comment came just hours after a Katyusha rocket fell in Baghdad's Green Zone, about 1.5 kilometers from the U.S. Embassy. The Saudi government has yet to acknowledge the missile fire, which other Saudi media also reported. Many religious pilgrims are now in the city amid the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Now he wants us to call him?

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