Iran has threatened to resume higher enrichment of uranium in 60 days if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for its 2015 nuclear deal a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord. (8 May)
The U.S. military put its forces in Iraq on high alert and the State Department ordered all non-essential employees Wednesday to leave the country right away amid escalating tensions with Iran that have left some U.S. allies expressing skepticism about the Trump administration’s claims that Iran poses a growing threat.
Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman at the U.S. military’s Central Command, told the Reuters news agency that there were “possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq” as he sought to clarify contradictory remarks by a British commander on Tuesday.
British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, a senior officer in the U.S.-backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, said that “there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.” Ghika’s remarks were later rebutted by Urban in a rare sign of how the U.S. and its close allies have split over Iran’s potential threat.
In Baghdad, the U.S. Embassy published a statement Wednesday saying the State Department mandated that all non-emergency government staff leave the country after Washington last week said it detected new and urgent “credible” threats from Iran and its proxy forces in the region targeting Americans and U.S. interests.
Specific details about the intelligence have not been revealed.
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