Iran President Seeking Wartime Executive Powers to Deal with ‘Economic War’

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Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Tuesday after briefing lawmakers on the threat from Iran that the United States had deterred possible attacks by deploying forces to the region. Last week, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also ruled out any talks with the US government over the disputed issues.

Already this month, officials in the United Arab Emirates alleged that four oil tankers were sabotaged. Yemeni rebels allied with Iran used drone aircraft to launch an attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia.

It was unclear exactly what Mr Shanahan meant and Pentagon officials could not immediately clarify whether the threat from Iran had been diminished.

But House Democrats, deeply skeptical of the information from the Trump officials - and mindful of the drumbeat of claims during the run-up to the Iraq War - invited former CIA Director John Brennan and former State Department official Wendy Sherman, who negotiated the Iran nuclear deal.

With tensions simmering between Iran and the U.S., British Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt indicated that if a conflict breaks out, the United Kingdom will stand with the U.S. She noted that the United Kingdom was "already deployed in the region, " adding, "This is a region where we have a huge stake and a huge amount invested and we are working with our allies and partners to firstly try to de-escalate things in the region but also to truly understand the facts behind recent events". Yet many observers worry any mistake by either side could lead to events out of their control.

Iran, meanwhile, announced that it has quadrupled its uranium-enrichment production capacity.

Despite Trump's decision to withdraw, the poll showed 61% of Americans still supported the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers to curb Iran's potential pathway to a nuclear bomb in return for sanctions relief. Additionally, a rocket was sacked Sunday night which landed less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. No injuries were reported.

Iraqi military spokesman Brig Gen Yahya Rasoul told the Associated Press that the rocket was believed to have been fired from eastern Baghdad, an area home to Iran-backed Shia militias.

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Doggett added House Democrats are "getting closer" to impeachment but "still have a little more work" in their investigations. Nonetheless, he has voted with Trump most of the time and is aligned with the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

Iranian officials say the uranium will be enriched for civilian energy uses, far below weapons grade as spelled out in the 2015 nuclear agreement. "Never threaten the United States again!" he tweeted.

The Trump administration is piling the pressure on Iran by ripping up a hard-fought global deal to steer the country away from its nuclear ambitions and attempting to shut off Iran's badly needed oil exports. He ended his tweet with "Try respect - it works!"

Flight deck of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) is seen as sailors sweep the deck for foreign object and debris (FOD) walk-down on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in Arabian Sea, May 19, 2019.

The cadre of officers who once surrounded the president - which Mr. Trump early in his term proudly referred to as "my generals" - made its final exit January 1 when retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis handed the reins of the Pentagon to Patrick M. Shanahan, a 30-year corporate executive from defense contractor Boeing.

Top Democrats say Trump escalated problems by abruptly withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear deal, a complex accord negotiated during the Obama administration to prevent Iran from nuclear weapons production.

"This is not the way serious countries deal with each other", he said.

"The Trump Administration is trying to roll back Iran's violent behavior and prevent war".

Republicans emerging from the classified presentation defended Trump's moves as necessary while tamping down talk of direct military conflict with Iran or even war. In this year's poll, Democrats and Republicans were both more likely to see Iran as a threat and to say war was likely. It is also well below the 20 per cent level to which Iran enriched uranium before the deal. European nations stayed in the accord with Iran. And it should not be forgotten that the US already backs Saudi Arabia in the devastating war in Yemen that the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe. The council includes many Gulf States. Susan Shand adapted the report for VOA Learning English. Write to us in the Comments Section.