Trump offers Iran direct line to White House, report says

Several oil tankers were reportedly attacked or sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, raising fears that shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf could become flash points.

When a year ago, Trump pulled out of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the rest of signatories in the pact- UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran- had criticised the U.S. and vowed to remain a part of the deal.

In this May 13, 2019, photo, President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. "If they do anything they will suffer greatly".

Meanwhile, the Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday termed the attack on the four commercial vessels as "dangerous escalation (that) speaks of the evil intentions", reported CNN.

"God willing we will pass this hard period with glory and our heads held high, and defeat the enemy", Rouhani said at a late night meeting with clerics.

That follows the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and a task force of B-52 bombers into the region.

The U.S. earlier this month ended exceptions to sanctions on Iranian oil sales, prompting the Islamic Republic to threaten to block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz.

In regards to the Saudi, Norwegian and Emirati oil tankers that were attacked, USA military assessment indicated that Iranian-affiliated agents used explosives to blow holes in the ships.

The Saudi statement came just hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets aired false reports of explosions at Fujairah's port. Emirati officials have declined to elaborate on the nature of the sabotage or say who might have been responsible.

India's foreign ministry said Zarif held discussions with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on issues of mutual interest, including the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

"The investigation will be conducted in a professional manner, the facts will be made clear, and we have our own readings and conclusions", he tweeted.

Yemen's Houthi rebels appeared to claim responsibility for the attack, announcing that seven of their "aircrafts" - known to be drones - had targeted vital installations in Saudi Arabia via their news outlet Al-Masirah TV. "They know it will not be in their interest", he said, as quoted on the official Khamenei.ir website. Trump said when questioned by ABC News' Cecilia Vega about the reported plan Tuesday.

"If you are anxious about a new war in the Middle East, you are in good company", tweeted Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund.

United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq called on "all concerned parties to exercise restraint for the sake of regional peace, including by ensuring maritime security".

The U.S. Energy Department later said it was "monitoring the oil markets, and is confident they remain well-supplied".

A general view shows a new plant inaugurated March 22, 2006 in Haradh, about 280 kilometers (170 miles) southwest of the eastern Saudi oil city of Dhahran.

Iranian military officials have upped their rhetoric in response.

Oil prices nevertheless jumped on Tuesday morning after news of the drone attack coming soon after the weekend's oil tanker sabotage.

On Tuesday, in a rare television interview, Tehran's envoy to the United Kingdom Baeidinejad dismissed the U.S. deployments as "theatrical maneuvers by the USA administration" and warned the USA not to "try to test the determination of Iran".

  • Leroy Wright


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