There won't be a war; we don't want it: Zarif

Wednesday, 22 May, 2019

US-Iranian tensions flared up a year ago after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and started reinstating harsh sanctions against the country.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that the Trump administration does not have congressional authorization to go to war against Iran.

The warning comes days after drone attacks on Saudi oil pumping stations that Saudi Arabia blamed on Iran-backed rebels in neighbouring Yemen, and in the same week that four oil tankers were sabotaged off the UAE's Fujairah coast.

She continued, "Right now he is leading us down this unsafe path towards a war in Iran".

Asked on Thursday if the USA might be on a path to war with Iran, the president answered, "I hope not".

On Saturday, a warning from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) relayed by USA diplomatic posts underlined increased risks in a region crucial to global air travel and where Lloyd's of London has warned of increasing risk to maritime shipping. Rubio also said he welcomed upcoming briefings and suggested that skepticism about the administration's assessment of the Iran threat has been fueled by a lack of information.

In May 2018, Trump withdrew the United States from a multinational deal with Iran negotiated by the Obama administration that reduced economic sanctions on Tehran in exchange for scaling back its nuclear programme.

Iran just announced it would begin backing away from terms of the deal, setting a 60-day deadline for Europe to come up with new terms or it would begin enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels.

All three airlines, as well as Oman Air, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday about the warning.

The US Congress has warned Trump for the unsafe escalation with Iran with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying Trump has "no business" moving toward a Middle East confrontation without approval from Congress. Iran long has threatened to be able to shut off the strait.

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran".

In the wake of the recent USA escalating rhetoric against Iran and the deployment of some of its naval units, in addition to a number of air force bombers in the Middle East, high-ranking Iranian officials have been saying that Tehran does want war with Washington.

Senator Lindsey Graham said he was briefed on tensions with Tehran by National Security Advisor John Bolton, a longtime hawk who called for an attack on Iran before taking his White House job.

According to the NYT report, State Department officials, speaking to reporters, set a red line that they warned Iran would cross at its peril: It could not ramp up its nuclear fuel production to the point where it could produce a nuclear weapon in less than one year.