Germany, Netherlands stop training Iraqi soldiers as tensions rise between US-Iran

US President Donald Trump

The aircraft carrier strike group is being deployed to the Persian Gulf to counter an alleged but still-unspecified threat from Iran.

"We can not let the Trump admin drag us into yet another war in the Middle East", Warren wrote.

The source said the United States believes Iran's role was one of actively encouraging militants but indicated the United States does not now have evidence that Iranian personnel played any direct operational role.

President Donald Trump is disputing reporting that there is "infighting" among his foreign policy team as his administration ramps up rhetoric and pressure against Iran.

"There are only two reasons for ordering their departure: We have credible intelligence that our people are at risk or in preparation for military action in Iran".

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the threat came from Iraqi militias commanded and controlled by Tehran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Illustrative photo of the United States embassy under construction as seen from across the Tigris river in Baghdad, Iraq, May 19, 2007.

United States officials have not publicly provided any evidence to back up claims of an increased Iranian threat amid other signs of allied unease.

Republicans - and even some Democrats - who have been briefed said the threats are legitimate.

Sa'dullah Zare'i, a hardliner analysts wrote in an article for the Kayhan newspaper, affiliated with the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Monday 13 May that Iran should "impose a cost on the United States so that America's economic war would not be unilateral" any longer.

"This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war", he assured officials.

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"Ensuring the safety of USA government personnel and citizens is our highest priority ... and we want to reduce the risk of harm", a State Department spokesman said.

US Iranian envoy Brian Hook told reporters travelling with Mr Pompeo in Brussels that the secretary of state shared intelligence on Iran with allies since "Europe shares our concerns about stability in the Gulf and the Middle East".

On a visit to Tokyo on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif told his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono that his country's response to the US actions - America's pullout from the nuclear deal previous year and the imposition of USA sanctions - is within the deal and Iran's rights.

Tehran is threatening to resume higher enrichment in 60 days if no new nuclear deal is in place, beyond the 3.67 per cent permitted by the current deal between Tehran and world powers.

"There is no change regarding the French engagement at this time", the source said. The hypothetical plan would reportedly be implemented if Tehran speeds up its nuclear weapons program - or in the event American troops are attacked by Iran.

But since the first USA warning on May 5, the only activity seen has been a still-mysterious "attack" Monday on four tankers anchored off Fujairah, a UAE port at the strategically crucial entrance to the Gulf.

The Al Marzoqah tanker is seen off the Port of Fujairah.

But a spokesman for the USA military's Central Command later disputed Gen Ghika's comments, saying they ran "counter" to the credible threats identified by U.S. and allied intelligence agencies.

The Netherlands and Germany have also reportedly said they are suspending military activity in Iraq due to security concerns. German defense ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff said there was a "generally heightened alert" in the region but gave no specifics.

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

The senator noted that he was fully engaged with setting up a congressional coalition meant to force the president to request Congress' consent, should he make up his mind to start a military confrontation with Iran.

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