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Wed May 15, 2019, 08:52 AM

Skeptical U.S. Allies Resist Trump's New Claims of Threats From Iran

WASHINGTON — As the Trump administration draws up war plans against Iran over what it says are threats to American troops and interests, a senior British military official told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday that he saw no increased risk from Iran or allied militias in Iraq or Syria.

A few hours later, the United States Central Command issued an unusual rebuke: The remarks from the British official — Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, who is also the deputy commander of the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State — run “counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region.”

The rare public dispute highlights a central problem for the Trump administration as it seeks to rally allies and global opinion against Iran. On Wednesday, the State Department ordered partial evacuations of the American embassy and a consulate in Iraq, despite skepticism from Iraqi officials over American intelligence showing a heightened risk.

Over the last year, Washington has said Iran is threatening United States interests in the Middle East, encouraging aggression by Shiite militias in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, shipping missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen and allowing its naval forces to behave belligerently in the Persian Gulf.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/14/world/middleeast/trump-iran-threats.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

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