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Iran says US sanctions 'unacceptable' as crisis mounts

Iran says US sanctions 'unacceptable' as crisis mounts

The move came 10 days after the White House ordered a United States aircraft carrier task force and B-52 bombers to the Gulf to prepare to respond to any Iranian-directed strike against U.S. interests or allies in the region.

US officials told ABC News last week that there were "clear indications" Iran or its proxy forces were preparing for a possible attack against USA forces at sea and on land, including in Iraq and Syria, prompting the deployment of a carrier strike group and bomber task force to the region. He went on to say that negotiations with the western nation are "poison" until the nation "comes to its senses'".

Earlier this month, the USA sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Gulf.

Senior State Department officials are trying to tamp down concerns about the move to evacuate non-essential personnel from two diplomatic facilities in Iraq, while backing up the administration's intelligence of an Iranian threat.

Gen. Chris Ghika, a senior officer in the USA -backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said Tuesday, insisting "there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria".

USA officials have not publicly provided any evidence to back up claims of an increased Iranian threat.

The embassy evacuation came 10 days after Trump's national security advisor John Bolton announced the military deployment in response to intelligence on an unspecified "imminent" plot by Iran to attack U.S. forces or allies. A USA official previously said all four ships sustained damage at or below their waterlines. Unnamed U.S. officials told Reuters that Iran encouraged the Houthis or Iraq-based Shi'ite militias to carry out the attacks.

United States government officials accused Iran - or its proxies - of "sabotaging" four oil tankers near the UAE over the weekend, despite the fact that an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

"Let me be as clear as I can be: a war with Iran would be an absolute disaster", said Sanders in the roughly six-minute speech. And the Netherlands suspended a mission providing assistance to Iraqi local authorities, Dutch news agency ANP said.

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.

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The anonymous American official's assessment aligns with that of foreign policy observers, who have urgently warned in recent days that the Trump administration is escalating tensions with Iran in an effort to provoke an attack and spark an all-out war.

A US embassy spokesperson is reported by the Financial Times saying that US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had taken the decision to withdraw because of "the increased threat stream we are seeing in Iraq".

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seen in 2009, reportedly said of the USA that 'neither we, nor them is seeking war.

But Russia, a major backer of Tehran, expressed concern Wednesday that Pompeo's assurances had not quelled the crisis.

Still, that hasn't stopped the USA from moving ahead with its claims against Iran. "I'm sure that Iran will want to talk soon".

Trump himself denied a report on Tuesday that the administration had reviewed a plan to send 120,000 troops.

He demanded a briefing "immediately" on the threat intelligence, any plans for war and the decision to order embassy staff out of Iraq.

"Congress has not authorized war with Iran".

Pelosi said Trump has "no business" moving toward a Middle East confrontation without approval from Congress.