Iran tensions: USA airlines warned about risk of flying over Persian Gulf

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Describing the strict sanctions Washington has imposed on Iran " s economy, particularly its crude exports, as "brutal" and "inhumane", the Iraqi cleric said that Iraqi people will support Iran in the battlefield of confronting the threats.

Speaking ahead of a ministerial panel (known as JMMC) gathering of top OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and non-OPEC producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, in Jeddah on Sunday, Falih told Reuters that the decision on output will not be decided until late June, when the group is due to meet bi-annually.

As part of the six-month deal reached, OPEC countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, were expected to cut production by 800,000 barrels a day while non-OPEC countries, including Russian Federation, trim 400,000.

Trump on Friday denied reports of conflict between Pompeo and Bolton, saying, "They say confidential sources".

Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, aimed at forcing its leaders into negotiations.

There may be a point to remembering the diddimilarities between Iran and Iraq.

Yet despite Washington's campaign of "maximum pressure" against Iran, the Islamic Republic has vowed to keep selling oil to its main customers, especially China, even if it requires using indirect means. "In my view, the key issue will be not about how much OPEC+ countries produce, but about the level of reserves". However, the USS McFaul and the USS Gonzalez, two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, transited the strait on Thursday without incident.

Saudi Arabia accused Iran of ordering the attack on state oil giant Saudi Aramco's oil pumping stations that Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi militia has claimed responsibility for.

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However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday called the US government a "bully" trying to force all other countries to do something "illegal", according to Press TV.

She warned that a war in Iran "would actually undermine our national security, cost us countless American lives, cost civilian lives across the region, exacerbate the refugee crisis in Europe and it would actually make us less safe by strengthening terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda".

Recent days have brought allegations of sabotage attacks targeting oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline claimed by Yemen's Iran-allied Houthi rebels, and the dispatch of US warships and bombers to the region.

"In Iraq there was a real momentum to go to war with Iraq, and there was intelligence, however flawed it turned out to be, that was generally assumed to be credible by the policymakers", Petraeus said.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman, meanwhile, has called for a meeting of Arab heads of state on May 30 in Mecca to discuss the latest developments, including the oil pipeline attack. It is high time for the United States and Iran to resume dialogue for the greater good of the region and the world.

Ministers from the world's oil producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, will discuss whether to continue the cut in output in July and beyond at a meeting in the western Saudi city of Jeddah on Sunday.

That is likely to infuriate Iran and raise questions over the future of OPEC, of which Iran is an influential member.

Bolton's views on Iran are well-documented, the official said, but stressed, "He has no illusions".

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