Trump Says U.S. Has Not Reached Out to Iran for Talks

US government sources said they believe encouraged Houthi rebels to attack the oil tankers

Top Democrats say Trump escalated problems by abruptly withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear deal, a complex accord negotiated during the Obama administration to prevent Iran from nuclear weapons production. "Also, Trump is not quite balanced and stable in his decision making, so we are dealing with a confused White House".

Trump campaigned on pulling the United States from the deal, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan held the briefing after lawmakers, including Trump's fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, clamored for weeks for more information about escalating tensions with Iran. The report said this included elements of the special boat service (SBS) that have been deployed to monitor military activity around the island of Qeshm, where Iran has stationed naval gunboats. "So it's better for the other side to do what it's necessary to be done", Kamalvandi said, alluding to steps by other powers to shield Iran's economy from USA sanctions.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Zarif called members of the USA president's administration the "B-team" and criticised the United States for pursuing "endless wars".

Quoting an official at the Natanz enrichment plant, the semi-official Tasnim said Iran was accelerating the production rate at which it refines uranium to 3.67 per cent fissile purity, suitable for civilian nuclear power generation. Since the USA withdrawal, Washington has re-imposed previous sanctions and come up with new ones, as well as warned nations around the world they would be subject to sanctions as well if they import Iranian oil. Trump added that if Iran called, "we would certainly negotiate, I only want them to call if they're ready".

Also on Monday, the Associated Press reported that Iran announced a four-fold production increase of uranium enrichment.

Pompeo is due later Tuesday to brief United States lawmakers on Iran alongside acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and the top USA military officer, General Joseph Dunford. Enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear power.

On 8 May, Iran announced that it would partially discontinue certain of its obligations under the nuclear agreement.

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"We did not believe our nuclear program, our nuclear energy program, required us to provide any concessions or provide any confidence-building measures", Zarif said. "They don't want a war with Iran".

TEHRAN: Iran´s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned the United States of "painful consequences for everybody" if there is an escalation in tensions with the Islamic republic.

Whatever we can get you in the negotiations to the deal is fine.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a Trump 2020 re-election campaign rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, U.S. May 20, 2019.

Saudi Arabia has blamed the pipeline attack on Iran.

On Monday the Houthis were accused of firing two missiles into Saudi Arabia, although the rebel group has denied the reports. Many religious pilgrims are in the city for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He said Iran took this step because the USA had ended a program allowing it to exchange enriched uranium to Russian Federation for unprocessed yellowcake uranium, as well as ending the sale of heavy water to Oman.

The tweet from Trump early on Monday came just hours after a Katyusha rocket fell in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, causing no injuries.

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