US State Department orders all non-essential government personnel to leave Iraq

US State Department orders all non-essential government personnel to leave Iraq

"The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq", the statement said. "Neither we nor them (the US) seek war", he said.

A week ago, the White House announced it was dispatching an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region in response to intelligence that Tehran was planning an attack against USA targets or United States allies.

The Trump administration in recent weeks has cited unspecified Iranian threats as justification for deploying an aircraft carrier group, B-52 bombers, and Patriot missiles to the Middle East. News reports have indicated that US officials believe Iran is moving short-range ballistic missiles to boats in the Persian Gulf.

Trump blasted media reports about turmoil in the White House over a series of steps taken by the administration to up pressure on Iran, saying "there is no infighting whatsoever".

Iran has not made any direct public threats to spark the United States deployment.

Separately, Iran's foreign minister said sanctions imposed by the Trump administration are "unacceptable" but added that his country is committed to an worldwide nuclear deal that has steadily unraveled amid rising tensions.

The top USA envoy met with Iraqi President Barham Saleh and Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, and spoke to them "about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it's able to adequately protect Americans in their country". Basra is in the south-east of Iraq, next to the Iran border.

He said that Baghdad would use its position to act as a mediator and that his country "does not want a new devastating war in the region".

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Blasts involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs) occur in many areas of Iraq, including the capital Baghdad, the advisory warned, adding that normal visa services would be suspended.

It did not give details about the nature of the threats.

The ongoing escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran started in early May, when the Trump administration claimed it had intelligence indicating a looming attack by Iranian forces against USA interests.

Earlier this week, Britain's defence ministry backed a British general who appeared to question the Trump administration's claims that an imminent threat had emerged from Iran.

The comments by Major General Chris Ghika, a British spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, drew a sharp retort from US Central Command.

The IRGC is directly controlled by the Islamic regime's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Salami was named its head last month. One day later, Pompeo told CNBC that, in the event that Iran made a decision to target United States interests, "we are prepared to respond in an appropriate way".

And he maintains that the USA wants to stop Iran from constructing a nuclear weapon. They have also told reporters that further military action is on the table.

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