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Trump Accuses Iran of Taking over Iraq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A file photo shows a ballistic missile launched and tested at an undisclosed location in Iran. REUTERS/Mahmood Hosseini/TIMA

Washington, London- U.S. President Donald Trump accused Iran on Thursday of taking over more of Iraq and said the nuclear deal signed during the term of Barack Obama came to save Tehran from collapsing.

The U.S. President asserted that “nothing is off the table,” when asked by reporters whether a military option has been considered after Iran tested its medium-range ballistic missiles a few days ago.

Trump wrote in a tweet that: “Iran is rapidly taking over more and more of Iraq even after the U.S. has squandered three trillion dollars there. Obvious long ago!”

He later tweeted: “Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion.”

On Thursday, the White House spokesperson told reporters at a press briefing that Iran had attacked a U.S. naval vessel, adding: “Iran’s additional hostile actions that it took against our Navy vessel are ones that we are very clear are not going to sit by and take.”

The spokesperson said Iran’s actions against a U.S. naval vessel would be an act of war.

Amid tension rising between Washington and Iran, several U.S. television commentators expected the choices of the Trump administration in dealing with Iran to vary between launching a big and direct military attack on Tehran or indirectly responding by attacking Iran’s interests in the region.

Reuters also quoted U.S. officials as saying the administration is expected to announce on Friday additional sanctions on ISIS.

In Tehran, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi responded to the comments delivered Wednesday by National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who declared America was putting the Islamic republic “on notice.”
Ghasemi said: “Claims made by U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor are baseless, repetitive and provocative.”

In his first public remarks since taking office, Flynn accused Obama’s administration of having “failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions.”

Flynn also criticized Iran after Yemeni insurgent “suicide” boats attacked a Saudi warship on patrol in the Red Sea, killing two sailors in what the Saudi-led coalition called an escalation of the nearly two-year-old war.

Meanwhile, Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, said the U.S. should stop “appeasing” Tehran. “I would be in favor of additional sanctions on Iran,” the Senator announced.