Netanyahu meets with Bolton, says Iran running campaign of aggression

In response, the US was ready to carry out a military strike against Iran but US President Donald Trump said he called it off at the last minute.

The US has now asked the UN Security Council to meet on Monday to discuss Iran.

US officials said that the cyberattacks, which disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, had been authorized by Trump, the Associated Press reports.

"If the enemy - especially America and its allies in the region - make the military mistake of shooting the powder keg on which America's interests lie, the region will be set on fire", Shekarchi warned. "But I'm not looking to do that", Mr Trump told NBC News in an interview a day after he aborted a planned air strike against Iranian targets in retaliation for Tehran shooting down a U.S. drone. The "maximum pressure campaign" supposedly created to drive Tehran to the negotiating table has so far proven little more than a guarantee of bad faith on the part of the US.

"This is our response to a violation of Iranian space and if the violation is repeated then our response will be repeated", said Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guards' aerospace division. "I don't want to kill 150 of anything or anybody unless it's absolutely necessary".

Iran, too, upped the ante by claiming that its forces had also tracked a US Navy P-8 Poseidon long-range anti-submarine warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft with 35 on board violating its airspace but deciding against bringing it down.

Mr Bolton's tough message seemed to be aimed not only at Iran, but also at reassuring key United States allies that the White House remains committed to maintaining pressure on the country.

Speaking to reporters before leaving for Camp David on Saturday, Trump said additional sanctions would be moving forward against Iran, with some being implemented "slowly" and some "more rapidly".

Tensions ratcheted up a notch after the Islamic Republic shot down an unmanned U.S. RQ-4A Global Hawk in worldwide airspace over the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday. Iran defended its actions, saying that the drone was on a spy mission over its territory, but the Pentagon countered that the aircraft was in global airspace.

The shooting down of the drone followed accusations by the U.S. that Iran had attacked two oil tankers with mines last Thursday just outside the Strait of Hormuz, in the Gulf of Oman. Iran has denied any involvement.

A multinational accord reached by Tehran and world powers in 2015 sought to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

Trump insisted it is up to the Iranian leadership how the current crisis plays out. Iran has threatened to breach the deal if the European Union signatories to the agreement fail to salvage it.

  • Leroy Wright