World: Key events raising tensions in the Persian Gulf - PressFrom - US
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WorldKey events raising tensions in the Persian Gulf

19:40  15 may  2019
19:40  15 may  2019 Source:   msn.com

Iranian missiles on small boats spotted in Persian Gulf: US official

Iranian missiles on small boats spotted in Persian Gulf: US official A US official said Thursday that Iranian missiles loaded on small boats in the Persian Gulf were among the "threats" that have triggered a beefed-up military deployment in the region. 

BEIRUT —Two Saudi oil tankers have been attacked and damaged in coastal waters near the Persian Gulf , the Saudi Foreign Ministry said on Monday, further heightening tensions with Iran. The tankers were subjected to an “act of sabotage” early Sunday morning in waters off the coast of the United

These events drew little notice outside the Arab world because of fast-moving events directly related to the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. On the 23rd, the CIA reported that Iraq had moved 30,000 troops to the Iraq-Kuwait border, and the US naval fleet in the Persian Gulf was placed on alert.

Key events raising tensions in the Persian Gulf© The Associated Press In this Friday, May 10, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Navy, an F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft gets ready to launch from the flight deck the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf. The aircraft carrier strike group is being deployed to the Persian Gulf to counter an alleged but still-unspecified threat from Iran. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael Singley, U.S. Navy via AP)

Tensions between the United States and Iran have soared in recent weeks, with Washington dispatching warships and bombers to the Persian Gulf, and Tehran threatening to resume higher uranium enrichment. The tensions come a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear accord with world powers and restored crippling sanctions.

Two Saudi oil tankers attacked in the Persian Gulf amid rising Iran tensions

Two Saudi oil tankers attacked in the Persian Gulf amid rising Iran tensions The attack follows warnings that Iran might target commercial shipping in the area, though Saudi Arabia did not say who was involved.

UAE says commercial ships targeted by ‘sabotage,’ amid rising Gulf tensions . RT, 13 May, 2019. The United Arab Emirates has said that four commercial ships were hit by “sabotage” in its waters, hours after denying reports of explosions at an oil tanker terminal.

BEIRUT — Two Saudi oil tankers have been attacked and damaged in coastal waters near the Persian Gulf , the Saudi Foreign Ministry said on Monday, further heightening rising tensions with Iran. The tankers were subjected to an “act of sabotage” early Sunday morning in waters off the coast of the

A timeline of recent events:

May 5: John Bolton, the White House national security adviser and a longtime Iran hawk, announces the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings," without providing details. He vows "unrelenting force" in response to any attack.

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May 8: Iran threatens to enrich its uranium stockpile closer to weapons-grade levels starting July 7 if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for its nuclear deal. The U.S. responds by imposing sanctions on Iran's metals industry.

Saudi Arabia calls urgent Gulf, Arab League meetings over tensions

Saudi Arabia calls urgent Gulf, Arab League meetings over tensions Saudi Arabia has called for urgent meetings of the regional Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League to discuss escalating tensions in the Gulf, the Saudi official news agency said on Saturday. The Saudi Press Agency said King Salman had invited Gulf leaders and Arab states to two emergency summits in Mecca on May 30 to discuss recent "aggressions and their consequences" in the region. Tensions have soared in the Gulf with the US deploying an aircraft carrier and bombers to the region over alleged threats from Iran.

The spike in tensions comes after the Trump administration’s decision to lift sanctions waivers from eight countries that import Iranian oil, in a bid to The State Department also updated a travel advisory to U.S. citizens in Iraq on Monday that was issued in the wake of the rising tensions last week.

Once again US political and military figures are hinting at military attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Few looking back on US ventures in the Middle East will be struck by exceptional farsightedness or appropriate gauging of likely consequences.

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May 9: The European Union urges Iran to respect the nuclear deal and says it plans to continue trading with the country despite U.S. sanctions. Trump says he would like Iran's leaders to "call me."

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May 10: The U.S. says it will move a Patriot missile battery into the Middle East to counter threats from Iran.

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May 12: The United Arab Emirates says four commercial ships off its eastern coast "were subjected to sabotage operations," just hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets air false reports of explosions at a nearby Emirati port.

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May 13: European foreign ministers urge the United States and Iran to show restraint, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs his counterparts on the alleged threats from Iran. Trump warns that if Tehran does "anything" in the form of an attack "they will suffer greatly."

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May 14: Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels launch a drone attack on Saudi Arabia, striking a major oil pipeline and taking it out of service.

Analysis: Persian Gulf tensions, unclear threats raise risks

Analysis: Persian Gulf tensions, unclear threats raise risks Murky claims of sabotage to oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. A drone attack on a pipeline in Saudi Arabia. A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group steaming toward an unspecified threat. The events roiling the Persian Gulf in recent days have the potential to affect everything from the price of a gallon of gas to the fate of nations. And for those feeling confused by it all, don't worry: Everyone else seems to be puzzled too, only raising the possibility of a miscalculation.

It coincides with a surge of tensions between the United States and Iran, after the U.S. said last week it had received intelligence Iran was planning some kind of attack against U.S. forces in the Middle East. In response to the threat, the Pentagon has dispatched naval reinforcements to the Persian Gulf

The events roiling the Persian Gulf in recent days have the potential to affect everything from the price of a gallon of gas to the fate of nations. But threats to the global oil market in the Persian Gulf also have been a U.S. national security priority since 1980.

— The New York Times reports the White House is reviewing military plans that could result in sending 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American forces or steps up work on nuclear weapons. Trump says it's "fake news," but that he would "absolutely" be willing to send troops if necessary.

— Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says "no one is seeking war," but that it wouldn't be difficult for Iran to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels.

— A senior military officer in the U.S.-backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group says "there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria." In a rare public rebuttal, U.S. Central Command says his remarks "run counter to the identified credible threats."

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May 15: The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad orders all nonessential government staff to leave Iraq immediately. The Netherlands and Germany say they are suspending their training of Iraqi forces.

Saudi Arabia says 2 oil tankers damaged by sabotage attacks.
Saudi Arabia says two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in attacks that caused "significant damage" to the vessels, one of them as it was en route to pick up Saudi oil to take to the U.S. Khalid al-Falih's comments came as the U.S. issued a new warning to sailors that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region.

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