Iran 'heightened risk' prompts United Kingdom to raise Iraq threat level

National Security Advisor John Bolton announced a new US military deployment to the Gulf calling it

National Security Advisor John Bolton announced a new US military deployment to the Gulf calling it"a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime

That includes those working at the U.S. Consulate in Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Wednesday's announcement comes after the withdrawal of staff from the consulate in Basra in September a year ago. "The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq".

Pompeo told reporters he had made his trip because Iranian forces are "escalating their activity" and said the threat of attacks was "very specific".

The U.S. announced May 5 that it was sending a bomber group and a carrier strike group to the region, although the strike group already was scheduled to pass through the region at some point anyway.

On Monday, Saudi and United Arab Emirates officials said three oil tankers and a barge anchored at Fujairah near the strategically important entrance to the Gulf were damaged in an alleged "sabotage" operation.

Earlier this month, the U.S. had accused Iranian regime forces of being engaged in "provocation" in Iraq and Syria, and used that to justify the sending of an aircraft carrier and a bomber taskforce to the Middle East.

"We believe that escalation by the United States is unacceptable and uncalled for". The photo came amid reports that the United States had slammed Soleimani's role in Iraq.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday predicted that Iran will "soon" want to negotiate and denied any discord in the White House over moves that critics say could lead to war in the Middle East.

Trump pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iranian nuclear deal, in 2018.

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Tensions have sharply escalated between arch-rivals Washington and Tehran since US President Donald Trump withdrew last May from the 2015 global Iran nuclear deal which removed sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme.

"We are saddened to see the decisions taken by the Iranian side", Peskov said, while arguing that Washington has been provoking Iran. "We have exercised maximum restraints", he said.

Is the U.S. preparing for war? Tehran could ship the excess amounts out of the country for storage or sale.

Iran no longer recognizes the limit for production of enriched uranium and heavy water, an informed official in the country's atomic energy body told the ISNA news agency on May 15.

The Sky source suggested Tehran may be plotting an attack that would provide plausible deniability, thus avoiding an all-out war with the USA, which would still "signal Iranian anger" over sanctions imposed by the US.

The European Union and the foreign ministers of Germany, France, and Britain said they were still committed to the deal but would not accept ultimatums from Tehran.

Nasr al-Shomari, a military commander for the Iran-backed Harakat al-Nujaba, told AFP the claim was "a pretext" by Washington to create "an uproar" in Iraq.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo decided May 8 to cancel his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and instead head to Iraq.

Iraq's status as an area of shared influence between Iran and the United States leaves the country's leaders with few options. While ISIS has been stripped of all its territory in Iraq, it still controls thousands of fighters and conducts terrorist attacks.

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