Iran exercising 'maximum restraint' despite USA withdrawal from nuclear deal: Zarif

Cheryl Sanders
May 18, 2019

Germany's military said it was suspending training of Iraqi soldiers due to the tensions, although there was no specific threat to its own troops in Iraq. He said an investigation of the attack on the four ships, which includes Saudi and Norwegian vessels, is being conducted with the help of American and French investigators and it's expected to be completed within days.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer expressed concern over the tensions and said it welcomes "any measure that is aimed at a peaceful solution".

While briefing a National Assembly panel a day earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that the government was watching the evolving situation and would take decisions as per its national interest.

In the Netherlands, state broadcaster NOS said its 50-person military mission in Iraq was halted "until further orders", quoting a Defense Ministry spokesman as saying he couldn't elaborate on the threats.

The remarks about Iran's nuclear program by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei came Tuesday night in Tehran at an iftar, the traditional dinner Muslims have when breaking their daily fast during Ramadan.

Iran recently threatened it might resume higher enrichment by July 7, beyond the level permitted by the current deal between Tehran and world powers.

Gargash said the probe would be concluded within days. Khamenei has final say on all matters of state in Iran.

Iran's foreign minister on Thursday slammed mounting USA sanctions imposed on Tehran by the Trump administration as "unacceptable", even as he insisted that his country is committed to an worldwide nuclear deal that has steadily unraveled amid rising tensions in the Mideast.

An attack on four oil tankers in the Gulf on Sunday, for which no one has claimed responsibility, and Saudi Arabia's announcement on Tuesday that armed drones hit two of its oil pumping stations have compounded worries about war.

The Burj Khalifa tower, center, stands among city skyscrapers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Benchmark Brent crude rose to $72 a barrel in trading Wednesday, an increase of over 1%.

He also said that the UAE, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition battling the Iran-aligned Houthis, would "retaliate hard when we see Houthis hitting civilian targets like what happened in Saudi Arabia". That included two pumping stations along its critical East-West Pipeline, which can carry almost 5 million barrels of crude a day to the Red Sea. Witnesses said houses had been damaged in the raids and that people lifted a body out of the rubble of one home.

India, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, meets more than 80 percent of its oil needs through imports.

The damage to the Andrea Victory ship is seen off the Port of Fujairah. "The ship is not in any danger of sinking", the ship's management company said in a statement. They spoke on condition of anonymity fearing for their safety. Still, Gargash was quick to dismiss an anonymous United States official's claim blaming Iran for the ships' sabotage, saying the UAE is closer to the investigation.

India also signed term import contracts with two U.S. suppliers, Singh said.

While previous condemnations of the Houthi attacks have been restricted to expression of support for the Kingdom, this was the first time that the government mentioned its support for the global community in a clear reference to the U.S. that is leading anti-Iran forces in the region. -Iranian tension following Washington's decision this month to try to cut Tehran's oil exports to zero and beef up its military presence in the Gulf in response to what it called Iranian threats.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he hoped the U.S. was not heading to war with Iran as he met with Switzerland President Ueli Maurer, whose nation has served as a diplomatic conduit between the two countries.

Other reports by iNewsToday