US mulls military options | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:12 AM, June 18, 2019

US-IRAN TENSIONS

US mulls military options

Says Pompeo, pushes for int’l response to secure Gulf energy supplies

  • Iran will reach allowed enriched uranium limit in 10 days

  • EU states urges caution in attributing blame

 

 

 

 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the United States is “considering a full range of options” regarding rising tensions with Iran, including military options, but emphasised that President Donald Trump has said that he does not want to go to war.

“The United States is considering a full range of options. We have briefed the President a couple of times, we’ll continue to keep him updated. We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrence which is our mission set,” Pompeo said in an interview on CBS “Face the Nation.”

When asked if a military response was included in that set of actions, Pompeo responded, “Of course.”

“The President will consider everything we need to do to make sure, right? But what’s the President said? We don’t want Iran to get a nuclear weapon,” Pompeo added. “President Trump has said very clearly, he doesn’t want to go to war.”

Pompeo said the US was discussing a possible international response, saying he had made a number of calls to foreign officials on Saturday regarding the attacks, reported AFP.

Pompeo’s comments come as tensions are rising in the waterways of the Middle East, where two tankers -- one carrying oil and the other transporting chemicals -- were attacked near the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route that has been the focal point of regional tensions for decades. Roughly 30% of the world’s sea-borne crude oil passes through the strategic choke point, making it a flashpoint for political and economic friction.

Iran has categorically denied the attacks, reported CNN.

Tehran said yesterday it will surpass from June 27 its uranium stockpile limit set under the nuclear deal with world powers, turning up the pressure after the US walked away from the landmark pact last year, reported AFP.

“Today the countdown to pass the 300 kilogrammes reserve of enriched uranium has started and in 10 days’ time... we will pass this limit,” Iran’s atomic energy organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told a new conference broadcast live on state television.

European states yesterday urged caution in attributing blame for last week’s tanker attacks in the Gulf, pointedly refusing to fall in line with Washington’s assessment that Iran was behind the incidents.

 

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