US issues plea to Iran amid RISING Middle East tensions – ‘Hope they’re listening’

US issues plea to Iran amid RISING Middle East tensions - ‘Hope they’re listening’

Both countries have been on high alert over the last few weeks following a serious of remarks from Donald Trump and Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. However, acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan has attempted to calm relations between the states by insisting that any potential attack on Iran has been “put on hold”. The US has warned of a potential threat from the country recently, with US President Donald Trump tweeting: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran.”

Insisting that the US does not want to be drawn into a conflict with the Islamic Republic, Mr Shanahan has said that the US “posture is for deterrence”.

Mr Shanahan added: “I just hope Iran is listening.

“I think our steps were very prudent and we’ve put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans and that’s what’s extremely important.

“I’d say we’re in a period where the threat remains high and our job is to make sure that there is no miscalculation by the Iranians.

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“We’re in the region to address many things, but it’s not to go to war with Iran.”

The tensions between the two countries intensified following the announcement that the US would send a strike force to the region.

Continuing that trend, the US also withdrew officials non-essential staff from the country amid an alleged threat from pro-Iranian forces.

The US recently removed exemptions which allowed certain countries to buy crucial goods from Iran earlier this month.

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Trump also ended the nuclear pact with the country last year.

Last week four oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman.

US investigators believe Iran or pro-Iran groups may be responsible for the attack although the country strongly denies the allegations.

Speaking on the tensions, UK Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt warned: “I would say to the Iranians: do not underestimate the resolve on the US side.

“They don’t want a war with Iran.

“But if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate.”