Iran warns US is playing a ‘dangerous game’

Iran warns US is playing a ‘dangerous game’

May 14, 2019

Iran warns US is playing a ‘dangerous game’ and insists its military is ‘fully ready’ for any conflict in the Middle East as it accuses America of falsely blaming Tehran over sabotaged tankers in the Gulf

  • Tehran’s envoy in London warned Donald Trump not to ‘test Iran’s determination’
  • U.S. suspects that Iran or its allies were behind sabotage attacks on oil tankers 
  • Tensions in the region heightened further today as Iran-backed rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for an explosive drone attack on Saudi oil pipelines 

Iran has warned Donald Trump that its military is ‘fully ready for any eventuality’ in the Middle East amid spiralling tensions between the two nations. 

Tehran’s ambassador in London told America not to ‘test the determination of Iran’ as he fired back at warlike threats from the White House. 

The U.S. suspects that Iran or its proxies were behind attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf of Yemen on Sunday but Tehran has denied the claims. 

Tensions heightened further today as Iran-backed rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for an explosive attack on Saudi oil pipelines. 

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today tried to calm the situation, saying: ‘This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war’. 

The government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (left) has warned Donald Trump (right) that its military is ‘fully ready for any eventuality’ in the Middle East amid spiralling tensions between the two nations

The news comes after an American military team claimed Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies used explosives to blow large holes in four ship (pictured, A. Michel, one of the tankers damaged) anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday

Norwegian oil tanker Andrea Victory, another of the four damaged boats, pictured with a large dent in its stern on Monday morning

Speaking to Sky News, Iranian ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad said the White House was making ‘theatrical manoeuvres’ but accused America of playing a ‘dangerous game’. 

‘Our analysis is that they, at least President Trump, doesn’t want to engage in a military confrontation with Iran,’ he said. 

‘But while we have renounced any military escalation I would assure you that the Iranian government and Iranian armed forces are fully ready for any eventuality in the region.

‘They [America] should not try to test the determination of Iran to confront any escalation in the region.’ 

Hesameddin Ashena, another key adviser to Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani, told Trump: ‘You wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war instead. 

‘That’s what happens when you listen to the mustache [a reference to national security adviser John Bolton]. Good luck in 2020!’.

Iran also warned of ‘false flag’ operations designed to lure the U.S. into a war.  

Trump warned yesterday that Tehran would ‘suffer greatly’ if it enraged Washington, predicting a ‘bad problem for Iran if something happens’

He told reporters at the White House: ‘We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake.’.

The tinderbox standoff between Iran and the US escalated even further today after four commercial ships were mysteriously ‘sabotaged’ off the UAE – adding to fears a conflict involving the two nations is looming. In a further twist today, an oil pipeline was targeted in a wave of drone attacks

UAE Navy boats next to Al Marzoqah Saudi Arabia tanker are seen off the Port of Fujairah on Monday afternoon

The President denied reports that he was planning to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East, but said: ”If we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.’

The latest crisis erupted yesterday when Saudi Arabia said two of its tankers and two other commercial vessels had been damaged in ‘acts of sabotage’. 

Saudi and UAE officials have been tight-lipped about the extent of the damage but pictures showed at least one tanker with a hole in its hull.

A U.S. military team sent to inspect the damage believes that that Iran or Iranian-backed proxies used explosives to blow large holes in the ships. 

Matters worsened today when Riyadh revealed that its oil pipelines had been targeted by explosive-laden drones. 

A pumping station supplying an east-west pipeline between the Eastern Province and to the Yanbu Port on the Red Sea was targeted by drones, the Saudis said. 

The oil tankers were visible in satellite images provided Tuesday to the AP by Colorado-based Maxar Technologies. A boom surrounded the Emirati oil tanker A. Michel, indicating the possibility of an oil leak. The other three, including the Andrea Victory (pictured) showed no visible major damage from above

The Saudi-flagged oil tanker Amjad, pictured in a satellite image yesterday, was also targeted in the sabotage attacks 

Tensions between Iran and the United States have intensified since Trump pulled out of a 2015 international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear activities and imposed increasingly strict sanctions on Tehran 

Oil infrastructure sites belonging to the country’s state-run oil company Aramco were targeted with a fire breaking out at a station along the pipeline. 

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, saying the assault on Saudi Arabia was meant to send a message to the kingdom to ‘stop your aggression’ on Yemen. 

The incidents have sparked fears of a war breaking out ‘by accident’ with the U.S. and Iranian militaries on high alert. 

The U..S has deployed B-52 bombers and an assault ship to bolster an aircraft carrier in the region.

Tensions have flared up again in recent days since Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani warned his country could begin ramping up uranium enrichment if a controversial 2015 deal was not rewritten. 

Donald Trump last year withdrew America from the 2015 nuclear deal and restored US sanctions that have pushed Iran’s economy into crisis.

Spain has temporarily pulled one of its frigates, the Mendez Nunez (centre front) that’s part of a U.S.-led combat fleet from near the Persian Gulf because of mounting U.S.-Iran tensions

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said attacks on the pipeline (file picture) from the oil-rich Eastern Province to the Red Sea took place early this morning and called it ‘an act of terrorism’ that targeted global oil supplies

Tehran has demanded that the UK, France, Germany, China and Russia help Iran to dodge U.S. sanctions.

European powers have tried to find ways to blunt the impact of new U.S. sanctions, in the hope of persuading Tehran to continue to abide by the deal.

However, their efforts have largely failed, with all major European companies abandoning plans to do business with Iran for fear of U.S. punishment.

Rouhani said last week that Iran would ramp up nuclear enrichment if fresh help did not materialise.

White House defence aide Tim Morrison condemned Iran’s attempted ‘nuclear blackmail of Europe’ and warned: ‘Expect more sanctions soon. Very soon.’

Rouhani’s comments also sparked outrage in Europe, as Britain warned of ‘consequences’ if Iran gives up its nuclear commitments.

The threat also sparked a backlash from Israel, where Benjamin Netanyahu warned he would ‘not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons’.

Netanyahu, who has accused Iran of breaching the deal, said Israel ‘will continue to fight those who seek to take our lives’.    

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