WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump warned that Iran would encounter “great force” if it attacked US interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington suspects that Shiite militias with links to Tehran are behind an attack with rockets in the Green Zone of Baghdad.
If Tehran attacks, it will be the “official end of Iran”: Trump
“I think Iran would make a big mistake if I did something,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday night for an event in Pennsylvania. “If they do something, it will be received with great force, but we have no indication that they do it.”
His comments came when two sources from the US government. UU They said the United States strongly suspects that Shiite militias are linked, and possibly encouraged, to Iran firing a rocket on Sunday at Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.
The sources, which are familiar with US national security assessments and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States was still trying to establish which militia fired the Katyusha rocket on Sunday and the scope, if any, of the participation. Iranian.
The rocket landed in the Green Zone, which houses government buildings and embassies and caused no casualties, the latest in a series of regional attacks that the United States believes may have been inspired by Iran. Iran rejected accusations of possible involvement in attacks last week and Iran’s Iraqi allies rushed to condemn Sunday’s rocket explosion.
The attacks include what Saudi Arabia described as armed drone strikes at two oil pumping stations within the kingdom on May 14 and the sabotage of four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on 12 May. of May.
The Houthi group aligned with Iran of Yemen was responsible for attacking the pumping stations. Saudi Arabia accused Tehran of ordering the attack. Tensions between Washington and its Sunni Arab Gulf allies on the one hand and Tehran and its Muslim Shiite proxies on the other have been erupting for weeks.
Sources from the US and European governments believe that Shi’ite militias based in Yemen or Iraq carried out the attacks in Saudi Arabia and near the United Arab Emirates, probably with the encouragement of Iran.
The two US sources said they are still trying to establish whether the rocket attack, if inspired or directed by Iran, was designed to send a specific signal to the United States.
The UN worried about the increase in tensions between the United States and Iran
All the incidents took place after Trump decided to try to cut Iran’s oil exports, about a year after he pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers.
Trump’s decision to abandon the agreement that restricted Iran’s potential path to developing a nuclear bomb in exchange for easing economic sanctions angered Tehran, which accuses Washington of breaking its word. Iran denies having had a nuclear weapons program.