Senator warns of 'overwhelming' Iran strike if USA threatened

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption The BBC’s Paul Adams looks at the recent developments behind the US-Iran tensions

- A senior military officer in the US -backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group says "there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria".

He also lashed out at reports of disagreements within in his administration over the policy, specifically with hawkish National Security Advisor John R. Bolton, a longtime advocate of regime change in Tehran.

Several Democratic presidential hopefuls took the the Trump administration to task Sunday over its rhetoric against Iran, saying the White House is leading the US toward another intractable conflict in the Middle East. They compared it to the flawed intelligence asserting Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, which cleared the way for the United States to go to war in 2003.

Before he ended his speech on Friday, the president announced a tariff-scrapping deal with Canada and Mexico which will end the trade dispute sparked by the imposed tariffs on imported aluminum and steel as a threat to national security.

Concerns about a possible conflict have flared since the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged, unexplained threat from Iran that has seen the United States order nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq.

US-Iranian tensions flared up a year ago after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and started reinstating harsh sanctions against the country.

"Top authorities in Iran and America have rejected a war, but third parties are in a hurry to destroy a large part of the world".

U.S. coalition partners in Iraq had suggested earlier this week that the threat level there had not risen significantly, and members of Congress demanded to see the information behind the administration's apparent preparation for possible conflict.

Mohammed Javad Zarif said: "In fact, as the supreme leader said, there will be no war since we are not seeking war and nobody in the region is suffering from a hallucination to think that he is able to confront Iran".

More news: 8-year-old child returns home after harrowing kidnapping

US President Donald Trump has criticized US media outlets for their "fraudulent" coverage of Iran amid growing tension in the Gulf. We won. And if necessary, I will fight Iran again.

"President Trump has claimed that he doesn't want war, but his bombastic rhetoric is ensuring that he walks into one", Abdi added.

The official also responded to the notion of Mr Bolton and Mr Pompeo trying to "herd" Trump towards a path of war.

"Make no mistake, this is exactly what John Bolton wants to have happen", said Moulton, who also trails in 2020 opinion polls.

Most recently the Trump administration designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization in April.

The U.S. president's tweet came after a rocket was reportedly fired into Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, about a mile away from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

Trump in recent days downplayed any potential for conflict, though he warned Sunday that the United States could destroy the country if provoked.

"In Iraq there was a real momentum to go to war with Iraq, and there was intelligence, however flawed it turned out to be, that was generally assumed to be credible by the policymakers", Petraeus said.

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