Jump to content
BANGKOK 16 July 2019 10:58
webfact

Trump creates doubt over use of U.S. force to protect Gulf oil

Recommended Posts

Trump creates doubt over use of U.S. force to protect Gulf oil

By Babak Dehghanpisheh and Sylvia Westall

 

2019-06-18T201820Z_1_LYNXNPEF5H1UW_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRUMP.JPG

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs the White House on travel to Orlando, Florida from the White House in Washington, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

 

GENEVA/DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would back the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies that Washington fears may be under threat by Iran.

 

Worries about a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks last week on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane at the entrance to the Gulf. Washington blamed long-time foe Iran for the incidents.

 

Tehran denies responsibility but the attacks, and similar ones in May, have further soured relations that have plummeted since Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.

 

Trump has restored and extended U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. That has forced countries around the world to boycott Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.

 

But in an interview with Time magazine, Trump, striking a different tone from some Republican lawmakers who have urged a military approach to Iran, said last week's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman had only a "very minor" impact so far.

 

Asked if he would consider military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or to ensure the free flow of oil through the Gulf, Trump said: "I would certainly go over nuclear weapons and I would keep the other a question mark."

 

The nuclear deal with Iran, which was reached in 2015 during Barack Obama's presidency, aimed to head off any pathway to an Iranian nuclear bomb. Trump says the agreement failed to address Iran's missile programme or punish it for waging proxy wars in Middle East countries.

 

Tehran has decried the toughening of U.S. sanctions and urged other signatories to take action to save the nuclear pact or see Iran turn its back on the deal.

 

The United States will maintain its pressure campaign on Iran and continue to deter aggression in the region but does not want the conflict with Tehran to escalate, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

 

"We have been engaged in many messages, even this moment right here, communicating to Iran that we are there to deter aggression," Pompeo told reporters. "President Trump does not want war and we will continue to communicate that message while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region."

 

As tension with Iran rises, uncertainty about leadership of the Pentagon grew on Tuesday with the news that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had withdrawn from consideration to head the U.S. military. USA Today has reported the FBI had been examining a 9-year-old domestic dispute involving Shanahan and his then-wife.

 

CALLS FOR RESTRAINT

Shanahan on Monday had announced the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were defensive purposes, citing concerns about a threat from Iran.

 

The deployment is in addition to a 1,500-troop increase announced last month in response to tanker attacks in May.

 

Russia told the United States it should drop what it called provocative plans to deploy more troops to the Middle East and cease actions that looked like a conscious attempt to provoke war with Iran, and urged restraint on all sides.

 

"What we see are unending and sustained U.S. attempts to crank up political, psychological, economic and yes military pressure on Iran in quite a provocative way," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was cited as saying by Russian media.

 

"They (these actions) cannot be assessed as anything but a conscious course to provoke war," he said.

 

China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, warned the world should not open a "Pandora's box" in the Middle East, as he denounced U.S. pressure on Iran and urged Tehran to heed the deal.

 

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany, another signatory, was doing all it could to ease tensions with Iran but said Iran must abide by the 2015 deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech that Iran did not seek war and dismissed U.S. efforts to isolate Iran.

 

"Iran will not wage war against any nation," he said. "Despite all of the Americans' efforts in the region and their desire to cut off our ties with all of the world and their desire to keep Iran secluded, they have been unsuccessful."

 

But the commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps said on Tuesday that Iran's ballistic missiles were capable of hitting "carriers in the sea" with great precision.

 

"These missiles are domestically produced and are difficult to intercept and hit with other missiles," Brigadier General Hossein Salami said in a televised speech. He said Iran's ballistic missile technology had changed the balance of power in the Middle East.

 

Heightened Iran-U.S. tensions have stoked fears of increased violence in countries where Iran and its Gulf Arab regional rivals are locked in a sometimes bloody struggle for influence.

 

Saudi air defences intercepted two drones fired by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group, Saudi media said on Tuesday. The group's Al Masirah TV said the Houthis had sent drones to strike the airport of the Saudi city of Abha.

 

Three rockets landed on a military base hosting U.S. forces north of Baghdad late on Monday, an Iraqi military statement said, without providing further details. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

 

U.S. officials said last month there was an increased threat from Iran-backed militias against U.S. interests in Iraq, and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad evacuated hundreds of staff.

 

(Additional reporting by Alexander Cornwell in Dubai, Tom Balmforth and Maxim Rodionov in Moscow, Ben Blanchard in Beijing, Writing by William Maclean and Alistair Bell, Editing by Jon Boyle and Bill Trott)

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-06-19
 
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Speak softly and carry a big stick" has been reversed. Now, the tiny stick matches the tiny hands.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, spidermike007 said:

Asked if he would consider military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or to ensure the free flow of oil through the Gulf, Trump said: "I would certainly go over nuclear weapons and I would keep the other a question mark."

 

Is it just me, or is there an inherent contradiction within this statement and US policy towards Iran? Trump is admitting that he is considering using nuclear weapons, on a nation that is being sanctioned and boycotted, over it's development of a nuclear energy program, that could supposedly lead to the development of nuclear weapons. Why does the US get to decide who uses nuclear energy or not? Is this not a bit wrong headed? 

 

I think it's just you. And maybe the ones who clicked likes on your post.

 

Trump didn't "admit" considering using nuclear weapons on Iran. Rather, he said he'll go to war over Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.

 

Using nuclear energy is one thing (and even that's mostly regulated), developing nuclear military capability is another.

 

That other signatories reject the USA sanctions on Iran doesn't imply Iran is trusted to keep its obligations without strict monitoring, or that there's much enthusiasm for it reengaging it's nuclear program.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, from the home of CC said:

Mr. Trump best be careful China and Russia don't decide to give him a little slap..

 

Of course they will. China and Russia exist to fulfill posters' fantasies.

:coffee1:

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Troll post and replies removed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Morch said:

 

Of course they will. China and Russia exist to fulfill posters' fantasies.

:coffee1:

https://www.iiss.org/publications/survival/2019/survival-global-politics-and-strategy-februarymarch-2019/611-02-rolland

 

Not my fantasy to see any country dominate especially economically, but as this lady eloquently describes, good for both in the short term. Your patriotic beliefs are understandable though a little naive, Rome is still falling...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, from the home of CC said:

https://www.iiss.org/publications/survival/2019/survival-global-politics-and-strategy-februarymarch-2019/611-02-rolland

 

Not my fantasy to see any country dominate especially economically, but as this lady eloquently describes, good for both in the short term. Your patriotic beliefs are understandable though a little naive, Rome is still falling...

 

Compare your own one-liner ("give him a slap") with the actual content of the article linked. It doesn't relate anything as direct, as immediate or even as assured as you apparently wish for.

 

As for "eloquently", we'll have to disagree. Repetitive and ultimately coming down to two questionable premises - that Russia got no other choice, and that China can control the situation.

 

Patriotism? Go fish. Barking up the wrong tree. Said it before, will say it again - the USA isn't prefect. Not by a long-shot. It's just better than the alternative posed by the likes of China and/or Russia. Cheering for the two countries which, I think, top the World's democide figures is odd.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Morch said:

 

Compare your own one-liner ("give him a slap") with the actual content of the article linked. It doesn't relate anything as direct, as immediate or even as assured as you apparently wish for.

 

As for "eloquently", we'll have to disagree. Repetitive and ultimately coming down to two questionable premises - that Russia got no other choice, and that China can control the situation.

 

Patriotism? Go fish. Barking up the wrong tree. Said it before, will say it again - the USA isn't prefect. Not by a long-shot. It's just better than the alternative posed by the likes of China and/or Russia. Cheering for the two countries which, I think, top the World's democide figures is odd.

Cheering hasn't a thing to do with it, it's more of keeping ones eyes open.

 

My expression 'slap' is related to geo economics/tariffs, also not something I wish for as a Canadian, America has already 'slapped' us economically a few times since you're esteemed president was elected by your people.

The way things are going world wide presently, for example Iran, preferential and inexplicable treatment of the murderous Saudis  (a little democide by proxy eh?), economic blackmail becoming a norm and on and on certainly doesn't bode well for the argument that your country is offering a better alternative, quite the contrary actually.

As far as Russia and China are concerned as I stated initially, there's no cheer leading involved. When your country's status as a moral leader on the world stage has fallen as low as it has, it makes other countries with questionable morality seem not so bad. America should be raising the playing field not lowering it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...