Trump is right to face down Iran's empty threats

Mr Trump talked down the prospects of war

This comes a week after an attack on two fuel tankers in the Gulf of Oman - attacks that the Trump administration has laid at the feet of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, though Tehran says it's been framed.

"The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region", Shanahan said.

The E3 countries have strained to keep the accord between major powers and Iran on life support since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it previous year and began re-imposing American sanctions.

Pompeo said Trump only wants to reestablish a deterrent to Iranian threats.

"Iran will not wage war against any nation", Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state TV. In return for lifting sanctions JCPOA restricted Iran's ability to move forward with nearly all aspects of its nuclear project, including operating centrifuges, uranium stockpiling, building nuclear reactors, purchasing dual-use materials, and pursuing advanced centrifuge research and development.

Iran is seen by both China and Russian Federation as a key geopolitical ally in the region as it looks to effectively counter USA hegemony in the Middle East.

Wang also hopes that Iran will be "cautious with its decision-making and not lightly abandon" the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. "If Trump is re-elected, the Iranian leadership will probably conclude that it has no choice other than negotiating with him, but it would only do so after it has resuscitated its nuclear leverage by ramping up its programme.That means new negotiations will only be possible after a renewed nuclear crisis", he said.

Iran denied involvement in the attacks and said on Monday it would soon breach limits on how much-enriched uranium it can stockpile under a 2015 nuclear deal, which had sought to limit its nuclear capabilities.

Trump's comments came just hours after he announced the sudden departure of acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan, jolting the Defence Department only a day after he signed off on sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East to counter Iran.

Abe has stressed the need for accidental military skirmished to be avoided, particularly as tensions have escalated further following two oil tankers being attacked near the Strait of Hormuz, one of which was Japanese.

Iran will not wait more if the Europeans delay taking practical actions to preserve the JCPOA, he reiterated. Any unilateral behavior has no basis in worldwide law.

Shanahan pointed out that the decision resulted from the "hostile behaviour" of the Iranian force, which "threatens U.S. personnel and interests across the region". Trump is obviously in a poor position to complain about Iran's violation of a deal to which the United States is no longer a party.

In its coverage of the story, The Jerusalem Post suggested that the attack may target a facility linked to Iran's nuclear programme.

The "right thing", he said, "is to continue to work to convince the Islamic Republic of Iran that we are serious and to deter them from further aggression in the region".

"What we are doing, despite some countries' propaganda against it, is the minimum measure Iran can take", the official government website quoted Rouhani as saying during a Wednesday cabinet meeting.

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