US envoy urges response 'short of war' to Gulf tankers attack

Trump offers Iran direct line to White House report says

"If the threat level seems to go up, then we'll raise our force protection measures accordingly", Ghika said. He said "the attack didn't lead to any casualties or oil spill", though he acknowledge it affected "the security of oil supplies to consumers all over the world".

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih Al-Falih vowed that production and export of Saudi oil would not be interrupted.

The conflict in Yemen is a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi and American US officials have long anxious about the Strait of Hormuz becoming a battleground should tensions with Iran break out into open conflict. Last Sunday, Bolton announced that an aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, and a number of bombers would be headed to the Persian Gulf in response to unspecified warnings that Iran and its proxies were preparing to attack us forces in the region. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation and thus spoke on condition of anonymity.

United States national security agencies believe proxies sympathetic to or working for Iran may have been behind the attacks.

The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which patrols the Persian Gulf and wider region from its base in Bahrain, declined to comment on the incident.

Yadlin says that Iran's difficulties with the U.S. have escalated and "Iran's attempt to establish and build advanced military capabilities in Syria with Israel was a stinging failure", leaving them with far fewer options.

And Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said Monday that the incidents were "alarming and regrettable".

Mousavi also warned against any "conspiracy orchestrated by ill-wishers" and "adventurism by foreigners" to undermine the maritime region's stability and security.

The ambassador was responding to a report from The New York Times that said acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently presented a plan to top national security officials that would send as many as 120,000 USA troops to the Middle East in the event that Iran strikes American forces in the region or speeds up its development of nuclear weapons.

The president appears to want to see a renegotiation of the nuclear deal.

"We are very anxious about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side but ends with some kind of conflict", British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told reporters in Brussels. "Our aim is a change in the behavior of the Iranian leadership".

The Gulf Cooperation Council countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates also issued similar statements of condemnations.

Both Oman and the UAE are members of the six-nation GCC.

This was followed by the deployment of even more USA forces, including another naval vessel and an anti-missile battery, to the Persian Gulf on Friday.

The idea was reportedly spearheaded by John Bolton, the president's national security adviser, who served in the George W. Bush administration at the height of the conflict in Iraq.

"An aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6,000 forces gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past".

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