Politics: Senators demand answers from Trump administration on Iran threat - - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsSenators demand answers from Trump administration on Iran threat

08:40  16 may  2019
08:40  16 may  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

Trump Denies Iran Threat, Then Revives It in Muddled Response

Trump Denies Iran Threat, Then Revives It in Muddled Response President Donald Trump rejected a report that his administration is planning for war with Iran, but then warned he’d send “a hell of a lot more” than 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event of hostilities. “I think it’s fake news, OK?” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Tuesday after he was asked about a New York Times report that plans envision sending 120,000 U.S. troops to fight the Islamic Republic. “Now would I do that? Absolutely,” Trump then added. “But I have not planned for that. If we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.

WASHINGTON — Senators from both sides of the aisle demanded that the Trump administration explain why it had evacuated U.S. diplomatic missions in Iraq and brief lawmakers on the alleged threats from Iran that prompted the move. Sen . Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate

Senators on Tuesday accused the Trump administration of handing a blank check to Saudi Arabia in its 3-year-old war in Yemen despite a stalemate on the battlefield and a spiraling humanitarian crisis. Grilling top officials from the State Department, Defense Department, and U.S. Agency for

Senators demand answers from Trump administration on Iran threat© Andrew Harrer Image: Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, speaks at a news conference at the Capitol on Dec. 20, 2018.

WASHINGTON — Senators from both sides of the aisle demanded Wednesday that the Trump administration explain why it had evacuated U.S. diplomatic missions in Iraq and brief lawmakers on the alleged threats from Iran that prompted the move.

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called on the administration "to immediately provide this committee with a briefing on the decision to order the departure of embassy staff, the intelligence on what Iran may be planning to do and any plans to go to war with Iran."

Pelosi warns Trump against war in Mideast; Dems demand info

Pelosi warns Trump against war in Mideast; Dems demand info House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that the U.S. must avoid war with Iran, and she declared the White House has "no business" moving toward a Middle East confrontation without approval from Congress.Pelosi's

Senator Lindsey Graham expresses concerns about the State Department's decision to order non-emergency employees out of Iraq amid rising tensions with Iran , and he calls on the Trump administration to brief senators on the threat stream from Iran .

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Monday that he was designating a powerful arm of the Iranian military as a foreign terrorist organization, the first time that the United States has named part of another nation’s government as that type of official threat .

Speaking at a committee hearing, Menendez said there were only two reasons to evacuate the U.S. missions in Iraq: Americans working at the missions are at risk, or it is "in preparation for military action in Iran."

The senator said it was the committee's duty to help write laws to authorize the use of military force and to oversee the State Department and the safety of its employees.

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

Menendez added that Congress has not authorized war with Iran and if the Trump administration was "contemplating military action with Iran, it must come to Congress to seek approval."

UK follows US lead, raises threat level in Iraq due to threat from Iran

UK follows US lead, raises threat level in Iraq due to threat from Iran The United Kingdom increased the threat level for its forces and diplomats in Iraq due to the increasing threat from Iran.

A bipartisan group of Senators Tuesday demanded answers from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the Trump administration ’s moves to rescue Chinese telecoms firm ZTE.

Iran : The Untold Story. Senators demand answers on Trump administration backing of Saudi coalition in Yemen. A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday questioned the Trump administration on its certification that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are taking steps to

At the same hearing, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he agreed with Menendez "about the need for a classified briefing on the matters in Iraq" and that "I hope that either the entire committee or perhaps the chair and the ranking member would be able to have that kind of briefing"

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said a full briefing for the entire Senate was "in the works."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., an outspoken advocate for tough action toward Iran and a frequent defender of President Donald Trump, also said the State Department and the Defense Department needed to brief lawmakers about why it had chosen to evacuate the U.S. missions in Iraq.

"I would urge the State Department and DoD to come down here and explain to us what's going on," Graham told reporters. "Because I have no idea what the threat stream is beyond what I read in the paper."

Trump Says 'I Hope Not' on Prospect of War With Iran

Trump Says 'I Hope Not' on Prospect of War With Iran President Donald Trump said he hopes the U.S. doesn’t go to war with Iran, as tensions rise with the Islamic Republic over his administration’s allegation that Tehran may be preparing an attack. “I hope not,” Trump told reporters on Thursday after he was asked about going to war with Iran while greeting Swiss President Ueli Maurer for a meeting a the White House. The U.S. hastened the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf and withdrew some diplomatic personnel from Iraq after claiming intelligence showed a growing threat from Iran or its proxy forces in the Mideast.

Iran told: comply with US demands or face 'strongest sanctions in history'. Mahmoud Sadeghi, an Iranian politician, said the move would further unite the Iranian nation against the threat of Trump ’s The administration has insisted that the sanctions were aimed at changing Tehran’s behaviour rather

The Trump administration is to reinstate all US sanctions on Iran removed under the 2015 nuclear deal. The White House said it was "the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed" on Tehran. It targets both Iran and states that trade with it. However, temporary waivers will be granted to eight countries

He added: "I think there are a lot of people in my shoes that are going to support standing up to Iran, but we need to understand what we're doing."

The State Department earlier Wednesday ordered the departure of nonemergency employees from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. consulate in the northern city of Erbil, and renewed a warning to American citizens not to travel to Iraq.

The announcement did not say how many personnel were affected, and did not offer more details about the threat posed to Americans in Iraq.

Senior State Department officials told reporters Wednesday that the ordered departure of some U.S. government personnel from Iraq was because of an "imminent threat" from Iranian proxies based on increased intelligence reporting received within the last seven days.

Asked about the seriousness of the threat, the official said "comparisons to Iraq 2003 are simply wrong. The much more appropriate analogy is Iraq 2011" when attacks were launched at U.S. installations. That was the year that the U.S. withdrew ground troops from the country.

U.S. has heard nothing from Iran on overtures for talks - official

U.S. has heard nothing from Iran on overtures for talks - official The United States is "sitting by the phone" but has heard no message yet from Iran that it is willing to accept President Donald Trump's overtures for direct talks, a senior Trump administration official said on Friday. "We think they should de-escalate and come to negotiations," the official, who declined to be identified, told a small group of reporters. Trump has urged Iran's leadership to hold talks over its nuclear program and regional influence amid rising tensions between the two countries that has fanned fears of armed conflict after the United States deployed an aircraft carrier group to the region.

"Donald Trump is marching the United States toward war in Iran to distract from his mounting scandals and failed administration ," she said. "Congress must assert its authority as the only body empowered to declare war," Hess added, "and prevent Trump from entangling our nation in another endless

demanded more information form the Trump administration on current tensions with Iran on In recent days, the U.S. has dispatched more forces to the Middle East citing possible threats from Senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also complained about lack of insight on the part of the

The officials pointed to Iran affiliated groups as the source of the threat. They said the move is not about going to war with Iran, but that it would be gross negligence to not take precautions in light of credible threats.

The State Department would not specify the number of U.S. personnel in Iraq, citing security concerns. A department official said that even with the departure of non-essential personnel a large portion of U.S. personnel will remain in country; it is typical that such a departure would take a few days to complete.

The move came days after the administration said it was deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East due to an unspecified threat posed by Iran and its proxies to American interests in the region.

But a senior British military officer directly contradicted the U.S. assessment on Tuesday, saying there was no heightened danger from Iran or its proxies in Iraq and Syria.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, deputy commander of Operation Inherent Resolve — the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — said "there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria."

U.S. Central Command issued a statement disputing the British general's comments.

Democrats in Congress have accused the Trump administration of taking reckless actions and engaging in rhetoric that could trigger an unnecessary war with Iran.

The administration has defended its approach, saying it is merely seeking to safeguard U.S. personnel and making clear that it will respond if Iran or its proxies target Americans.

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