In recent weeks, President Donald Trump's administration has applied new sanctions pressure on Tehran and sent additional forces to the Middle East to counter what it says is a heightened threat from Iran to United States soldiers and interests in the region.
Staff at the embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Irbil must leave as soon as possible on commercial transport.
TOKYO - Iran remains committed to its obligations under a multilateral nuclear deal despite the United States' withdrawal from the landmark agreement a year ago, its foreign minister said on Thursday, calling the USA escalation of sanctions "unacceptable".
France now employs 300 military training staff in Iraq.
And on Wednesday, the State Department announced it was evacuating all non-emergency staff from neighboring Iraq, closing the US embassy in Baghdad and the USA consulate in Erbil.
"There are a lot of people in my shoes that are going to support standing up to Iran", he said, "but we need to understand what we're doing".
"Ensuring the safety of US Government personnel and citizens is our highest priority ... and we want to reduce the risk of harm", a State Department spokesman said.
A statement from the official Saudi news agency said that it was important to face "terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran". The U.S. pulled out of the deal previous year.
"The attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias against the two Aramco pumping stations proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran's regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region", he wrote.
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Anwar Gargash, the minister of foreign affairs for the United Arab Emirates, told reporters in Dubai that the Saudi-led coalition will "retaliate hard" for attacks on civilian targets, without elaborating.
The strikes come two days after seven drones struck Saudi oil infrastructure in the kingdom, leading to the temporary closure of the strategic East-West pipeline. On Sunday, mysterious attacks by unknown assailants against four ships in the region, including two from Saudi Arabia, sent war talk up another notch.
The attack on the tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, through which one fifth of the world's oil consumption flows, appeared created to test the resolve of the United States and its Sunni Muslim allies without triggering a war, analysts said. However, the source indicated the United States does not now have evidence that Iranian personnel played any direct operational role.
It's not evident that President Trump has a desire to send so many US troops to the region. "The Trump administration has not provided any information to this committee on the intelligence behind their decisions or what they plan to do in Iraq or Iran, and I have repeatedly reminded the administration of its responsibilities to this committee", Menendez said.
The Trump Administration has spent years trying to convince U.S. allies that the global community needed to isolate Iran.
It was a telling remark from the supreme leader.
Under the deal, Tehran was allowed to produce low-enriched uranium within about a 660-pound limit, and produce heavy water with a stock capped at around 130 tons.
Nevertheless, Iran has relaxed restrictions on its nuclear programme and threatened action that could breach the nuclear deal, although the initial moves do not appear to violate the agreement.
Iran is exercising "maximum restraint in spite of the fact the USA withdrew from [the] JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) last May", Zarif said at the beginning of his meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. "Sixteen years ago, the United States committed one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of our country by attacking Iraq". It has said it will keep strong ties with Iran, and also with both the United States and regional Arab neighbors, some of whom, like Saudi Arabia, consider Tehran an archrival.