US News: Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea - PressFrom - United Kingdom

US NewsIran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea

10:10  16 may  2019
10:10  16 may  2019 Source:

US warns Iran of 'unrelenting force' as it deploys carrier

US warns Iran of 'unrelenting force' as it deploys carrier The US has dispatched an aircraft carrier and bomber task force to the Middle East after receiving "clear indications" that Iran was preparing to possibly attack US forces in the region. National security adviser John Bolton said the move to deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Gulf was in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings". He did not provide details, but said the US wanted to send a message that "unrelenting force" would meet any attack on US interests or those of its allies.

Attack on vessels, one bound for US, follow warnings Iran or proxies could target shipping.

A Navy warship off the coast of Yemen fired missiles at Houthi rebel targets on Thursday. The rebels, engaged in a civil war with the Yemeni government, had But American commanders believed that the attack posed a real threat . The retaliatory strikes on Thursday targeted three radar installations that

Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea © Erin Schaff/The New York Times Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer both raised concerns over the lack of transparency from the Trump administration about the new threats from Iran.

WASHINGTON — The intelligence that caused the White House to escalate its warnings about a threat from Iran came from photographs of missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf that were put on board by Iranian paramilitary forces, three American officials said.

Overhead imagery showed fully assembled missiles, stoking fears that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps would fire them at United States naval ships. Additional pieces of intelligence picked up threats against commercial shipping and potential attacks by Arab militias with Iran ties on American troops in Iraq.

Pentagon says it'll send ship, missile battery to Middle East to deter Iran

Pentagon says it'll send ship, missile battery to Middle East to deter Iran The Pentagon announced plans Friday to send a U.S. ship and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East in an effort to deter actions from Iran. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan gave the green light to move the USS Arlington and the Patriot battery, according to a statement. The latter is "a long-range, all-weather air defense system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft," the Pentagon said.

A debate is underway within the Trump administration over how significant a threat Iran is to the United States and how to respond. CORNISH: That report in The New York Times follows a week in which the U.S. sent ships, bombers and missiles to the Persian Gulf because of unspecified threats from

From afar, we receive images of a North Korea that appears organised and in control of its political process, while That Pyongyang might be engaging in at - sea , ship-to-ship goods transfers, or other illegal activities should not really come as a surprise. Share your thoughts and debate the big issues.

But just how alarmed the Trump administration should be over the new intelligence is a subject of fierce debate among the White House, the Pentagon, the C.I.A. and America’s allies.


More on this story:

UK-US row over threat in the Middle East (Independent)

Foreign Office in 'crisis mode' over US-Iran tensions (Sky)

US orders evacuation of embassy in Baghdad (New York Times)


The photographs presented a different kind of threat than previously seen from Iran, said the three officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about it publicly. Taken with the other intelligence, the photographs could indicate that Iran is preparing to attack United States forces. That is the view of John R. Bolton, President Trump’s hard-line national security adviser, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Iran Tells Trump: Don't Wait for Us to Pick Up the Phone

Iran Tells Trump: Don't Wait for Us to Pick Up the Phone Iranian officials rebuffed President Donald Trump’s suggestion that they call him to try to defuse frictions as the U.S. ratcheted up its actions against Tehran. Several top Iranian aides and lawmakers predicted Sunday that the current tensions wouldn’t lead to war, calling the U.S. deployment of an aircraft carrier, warship, bomber jets and missile defenses to the Middle East a propaganda stunt. Antagonism between the countries, already high, has worsened this month since Trump eliminated exceptions to U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil.

Iran has “hundreds of missiles which pose a threat to our partners in the region,” Pompeo said, likely referring to Israel and Arab allies such as Saudi A Ghadr-F missile is displayed next to a portrait of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at a Revolutionary Guard hardware exhibition

Iran is set to test fire another round of missiles , despite US sanctions. It followed hostile rhetoric from US President Donald Trump, after he said on Twitter that Iran was It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more.

Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea © Tom Brenner for The New York Times John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, last month at the White House.

But other officials — including Europeans, Iraqis, members of both parties in Congress and some senior officials within the Trump administration — said Iran’s moves might mostly be defensive against what Tehran believes are provocative acts by Washington.

Either way, the questions about the underlying intelligence, and complaints by lawmakers that they had not been briefed on it, reflect a deep mistrust of Mr. Trump’s national security team.

Working off the new intelligence, the State Department on Wednesday ordered a partial evacuation of the United States Embassy in Baghdad and a consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan, a move that one senior American official said was an overreaction to the intelligence and could possibly do more to endanger diplomats than to keep them safe.

British General Contradicts U.S. Claim of Increased Threat From Iran-Backed Militias

British General Contradicts U.S. Claim of Increased Threat From Iran-Backed Militias The Pentagon responded with an unusual rebuke of an allied senior officer

Studio Fuksas proposed that the spire be replaced with a “very high pinnacle made like a Baccarat crystal.” The author was surprised by what she didn’t know. She’s frustrated that advocates of abortion laws seem to be just as clueless.

Russian officials argued that the American decision to deploy the missile defense system in Europe was a violation of the U.S. missile defense in Eastern Europe, ostensibly meant to intercept missiles from Iran , presents a formidable offensive "Trump stokes debate about new Cold War arms race".

Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea © US Air Force/AP The US sent B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf region on May 4.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, in a closed-door meeting of House Democrats, criticized the administration’s lack of transparency on the intelligence, according to a Democratic aide. Ms. Pelosi also said that the administration must consult Congress before taking any action.

Ms. Pelosi spoke hours after the evacuation of embassy personnel was ordered by Mr. Pompeo, who as a congressman was one of the fiercest critics of the Obama administration’s handling of the 2012 attacks on the American diplomatic mission and annex in Benghazi, Libya.

But the senior American official said Mr. Pompeo was overreacting, and Iraqi officials said the threat level portrayed in the intelligence was not urgent enough.

Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea © AP Iranian worshippers burn a US flag in Tehran after prayer.

Intelligence officials are set to meet on Thursday with senior congressional leaders for a briefing on the new intelligence about Iran. Nine American national security and congressional officials discussed the intelligence and the closed-door talks about it on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about them publicly.

Iran's supreme leader makes uranium enrichment threat

Iran's supreme leader makes uranium enrichment threat Iran's supreme leader has issued a veiled threat in the same speech in which he stated that "no one is seeking war," saying it wouldn't be difficult for the Islamic Republic to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels amid rising tensions with the United States. 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. Washington did not publicly provide any evidence to back up claims of an increased threat from Tehran.

The missiles that we saw on TV being fired from Iranian ships---were they short range? We saw videos of two types of missiles being fired; one set of In the aftermath of the New Zealand mosque attacks, public debate is mounting in Western democracies over the severity of the threat posed by

Iran announced Wednesday it had successfully test-fired several anti-ship missiles at sea as part of a 10-day military exercise that began last week. Iran says its missiles are conventional and designed for the nation's protection. Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Until recently, American government officials had said that Iran was continuing its usual support to Arab militias in the region, but was not seeking a fight.

That shifted with the new intelligence on May 3, changing the Pentagon’s assessment of the immediacy of the threat. Reacting to that information, the military’s Central Command asked that an aircraft carrier and bombers be sent to the Persian Gulf, rebuilding a show of deterrent force that some officials believed had been eroded by recent troop drawdowns.

On May 5, the White House sent Mr. Bolton to announce that the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln would sail to the gulf sooner than expected. Choosing Mr. Bolton, who is a longtime advocate of regime change in Iran, to deliver that message fueled skepticism among allies and congressional Democrats.

Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea © AP An F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft launches from the flight deck the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf.

As military officials struggled to show that the threat from Iran was growing, intelligence officials declassified a photograph of one of the small boats, called dhows, carrying what was described as a functional Iranian missile.

The Pentagon has not released the photograph. On its own, two American officials said, the photograph was not compelling enough to convince the American public and lawmakers, or foreign allies, of the new Iranian threat. But releasing other supporting images could compromise secret sources and methods of collecting intelligence, the officials said.

Foreign Office 'in crisis mode' over US-Iran tensions

Foreign Office 'in crisis mode' over US-Iran tensions Britain's Foreign Office has gone into crisis mode because of rising tensions in the Gulf between the United States and Iran, Sky News can reveal. At the moment the level of crisis is at the lower end with a small number of additional staff focusing on Iran, and additional reports being produced by officials. However, this level could be increased if the situation in the region worsens, sources said. "We are going into crisis mode," a Whitehall source said, describing it, for now, as "pretty light touch".

Other missiles fell into the Mediterranean where they could be viewed from the decks of the ships that launched them. The real war, what goes on, is very different that what is reported. Syria, Iraq, Iran and even Russia “under-report” events that would embarrass the US or Israel to the point of humiliation.

The Pentagon report says Iran is developing short-range missiles that can identify ships at sea and maneuver towards them in mid-flight. A couple of years ago, I was on MSNBC debating The Iranian Threat with Arianna Huffington (it was after she had just returned from Israel and she was strangely

The other photographs, which remain classified, show the Revolutionary Guards loading missiles onto the boats at several Iranian ports, the two American officials said. It is believed the boats are under the Revolutionary Guards’s control.

CNN first reported that Iranian missiles were being moved onto ships last week. But new details have emerged in recent days, and American officials have concluded that Iran did not intend to transfer the weapons to a foreign militia.

Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea © Reuters Donald Trump speaking in Washington yesterday.

Combined with other intelligence, the photographs signaled a troubling Iranian mobilization of forces that officials said put American ships, bases and commercial vessels at risk.

Adding to that concern, the United States recently learned of conversations between the Revolutionary Guards and foreign militias discussing attacks on American troops and diplomats in Iraq. The conversations themselves are nothing new, but the recent discussions were held with unusual frequency and included specifics about strikes on American targets.

American officials said they have also collected intelligence about Iran targeting commercial shipping, prompting a warning to mariners issued last Friday. That was one of the reasons that led American officials to suspect Iran was behind this week’s sabotage of four tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The officials said they do not have conclusive forensic analysis that shows Iran was to blame.

In a sign of the rising tensions over the handling of the Iran threat, a senior British military official who is deputy commander of the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State said Tuesday that he saw no increased risk.

Watch as Irish priest does 'The Floss' dance at Holy Communion in Cork

Watch as Irish priest does 'The Floss' dance at Holy Communion in Cork The priest joined all the boys and girls on the altar to perform the dance

Should Iran continue its nuclear program, stoking more fears about a potential war, GCC countries will likely continue stockpiling missile defense systems. While countries would have to forego national rivalries and unilateral defense policies in lieu of cooperation, growing missile threats may catalyze

So that is probably why we perceive Iran as more of a threat . The current Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared many threats against Israel, a key ally Let’s put this issue in perspective, Israel already possesses nuclear weapons, as well as the inter-continental ballistic missiles to deliver

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who sits on the Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees and who was briefed last week on the new intelligence, said on Wednesday that while he did not want a war with Iran, the United States must respond if attacked.

“I’ve been here eight years. This is, by far, the single most imminent potential conflict of this significance that I have been around,” Mr. Rubio said. “This is real. This is not a fake thing. It’s not being made up by somebody. This president does not even want to have troops in the Middle East.”

But Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said flaws in the Trump administration’s approach were evidenced in an article by The New York Times that reported on Pentagon plans for sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if hostilities with Iran escalated.

“Did we learn the lessons of the last decade?” Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor. “There is an alarming lack of clarity here, there’s a lack of strategy, and there’s a lack of consultation. The president ought to come up with a strategy and make it clear to Congress.”

Iran began mobilizing its forces after Washington issued new economic sanctions against the country, moved to stop nations from buying Iranian oil and designated the Revolutionary Guards, an arm of the Iranian military, a terrorist group, two American officials said.

Hanging over the current disagreement is the debate over the Iraq war and, specifically, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s address to the United Nations in 2003. Mr. Powell’s presentation included fuzzy images and partial communications intercepts, and detailed what came to be understood as wildly wrong assessments about the Iraqi government’s illicit weapons.

In the debate over Iran, Representative Seth Moulton, Democrat of Massachusetts, has introduced legislation to require the Trump administration to get congressional approval before “engaging in hostilities” with Iran. In April, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, pressed Mr. Pompeo during a hearing for the same commitment, but the secretary of state deflected the request.

Is Iran Testing Trump With Little Attacks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf?

Is Iran Testing Trump With Little Attacks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf? BAGHDAD—The sound of an explosion echoed through the Green Zone on Sunday night around 9:00 p.m., a reminder that this most secure part of the Iraqi capital is not, in fact, all that safe. 

It urged Iran to stop all testing of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The Iranian foreign ministry and many independent experts challenged the claim that the tests breached the UN resolution. The Guardian is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda.

Most Republicans signaled they supported the administration’s tough line. “Iran seems to be more aggressive, and we have to push back,” Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama and the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said after meeting with intelligence officials. “We cannot give them a lot of space.”

Divisions over the intelligence extended to American allies.

Troops from Germany and the Netherlands were pulled back to bases in Iraq. Spanish defense officials, to avoid entanglement in any upcoming conflict with Iran, withdrew a frigate that was part of the American-led carrier strike group heading to the Persian Gulf. Training efforts by France and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are continuing as normal.

The State Department ordered “nonemergency U.S. government employees” at both the embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil, the Kurdish capital, to leave the country. The order applied primarily to full-time diplomats posted to Iraq; an embassy statement said that visa services in Iraq would be suspended as a result. Contractors who provide security, food and other such services will remain in place for now.

Mr. Pompeo shared some details of the intelligence with Iraqi leaders on May 7 when he made a surprise visit to Baghdad. But American officials in Washington said the most delicate intelligence was not shared with the Iraqis for fear their agencies have been penetrated by Iranian spies.

Tensions with Iran have been rising since May 2018, when Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal that world powers reached with Tehran. American sanctions were reimposed in November, weakening the Iranian economy — perhaps more quickly than expected.

Reporting was contributed by Mark Mazzetti and Adam Goldman from Washington; Thomas Gibbons-Neff from Kabul, Afghanistan; Milan Schreuer from Brussels; Claire Moses from London; Melissa Eddy from Berlin; Aurelien Breeden from Paris; and Alissa J. Rubin from Baghdad.

Is Iran Testing Trump With Little Attacks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf?.
BAGHDAD—The sound of an explosion echoed through the Green Zone on Sunday night around 9:00 p.m., a reminder that this most secure part of the Iraqi capital is not, in fact, all that safe. 

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