Germany, Netherlands stop training Iraqi soldiers as tensions rise between US-Iran

US President Donald Trump

The Trump administration has accused Iran of trying to railroad United States interests in the region - even going so far as to call for threats of violence in places like Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Syria. "They wanted guarantees that Iraq would stop those groups threatening USA interests", one of the sources was quoted as saying.

In an article published late Tuesday, the editorial board first talked about the possibility that a conflict between the US and Iran would erupt, citing remarks by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt who said on Monday that the risk of "accidental" US-Iran war "ends with some kind of conflict".

Reinforcing Mr Trump's denial, U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo said at a joint news conference in Sochi with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov: "We fundamentally do not seek war with Iran".

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, meanwhile, ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff on Wednesday to leave Iraq immediately amid escalating tensions with Iran.

"This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war", he assured officials.

Iran is exercising "maximum restraint in spite of the fact the United States withdrew from (the) JCPOA last May", Mr Zarif said at the beginning of his meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

Tehran is threatening to resume higher enrichment in 60 days if no new nuclear deal is in place, beyond the 3.67% permitted by the current deal between Tehran and world powers.

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Iran is committed to its obligations under an global nuclear deal despite the USA withdrawal from the landmark agreement, its foreign minister said on Thursday, calling the reimposition of sanctions by Washington "unacceptable".

Menendez said the Trump administration "has not provided any information to this committee on the intelligence behind their decisions or what they plan to do in Iraq or Iran".

But since the first United States warning on May 5, the only activity has been a still-mysterious "attack" Monday on tankers anchored off Fujairah, an Emirati port located at the strategically crucial entrance to the Gulf.

The Al Marzoqah tanker is seen off the Port of Fujairah.

U.S. Central Command acknowledged on Tuesday that those troops are operating at an increased posture level, adding that the U.S. -led coalition was "now at a high level of alert" as it continued to monitor threats against U.S. forces.

The effort to pin the tanker attacks on Iran came just over a week after Boltonused the planned deploymentof an American aircraft carrier and bomber task force to the Persian Gulf to threaten Iran with military action and warn - again, without evidence - of "escalatory indications" from Iran.

France has no plans at this point to suspend military training activities in Iraq, Reuters reported a source close to the French Defense Ministry as saying on Wednesday. "I am committed to ensuring that majorities of the House of Representatives and the Senate make clear that before the president takes any military action, in Iran or anywhere else, he must seek authorization from Congress. That's Congress's job - and that's why I'm supporting this legislation to prevent a war with Iran".

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