Trump's national security adviser John Bolton in May made a show of an already scheduled United States aircraft carrier group deployment to the Persian Gulf and announced a B-52 bomber force would be sent to the region.
"Someone in the U.S. says we are after crippling sanctions, and officially announces his decision to impose "maximum pressure" on Iran".
"This is about deterrence, not about war". And it should not be forgotten that the USA already backs Saudi Arabia in the devastating war in Yemen that the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe.
"Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation".
"We want the situation to de-escalate because this is a part of the world where things can get triggered accidentally", Hunt said.
"I would say to the Iranians, do not underestimate the resolve on the USA side in the situation", British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt told reporters on Monday in Geneva.
Relations between Tehran and Washington have plummeted since past year when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran that curbed Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from crippling economic sanctions. It set a 60-day deadline with these nations to protect its oil and banking sectors from further US penalties or it will begin enriching uranium nearer to weapons-grade levels. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday during an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt conservative radio program that it was "quite possible" that Iran was behind the sabotage of the tankers and attacks on Saudi Arabian pipelines.
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The situation in Iran was also discussed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone call, Merkel's office said in a statement on May 21.
The Democrats, who have sought to obstruct the administration since it pulled out of the the Obama administration's signature foreign policy achievement, the Iran nuclear deal, have sought to stake out a foreign policy that sides with Tehran in the ongoing dispute, which has seen the Islamic Republic sponsor a series of terror attacks in the Middle East, including against American military assets.
Referring to the recently imposed USA sanctions, Rohani said, "But at the end of the road, the victory is ours". Iranian officials said on Monday that they had increased by fourfold the production of low-enriched uranium - although the increase remains for the moment within the restrictions of the deal.
The state IRNA news agency reported late Monday that President Hassan Rouhani cited the 1980s war with Iraq, when a wartime supreme council was able to bypass other branches to make decisions regarding the economy and the war.
"We need such powers today", he said.
"I just hope Iran is listening", he said about whether Iran was getting the message.
This month, officials in the United Arab Emirates also alleged that four oil tankers were sabotaged; Iran-backed rebels launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia; and U.S. diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, an idea dismissed by Tehran.