- U.S. officials are pointing the finger at elite Iranian military forces for sabotage attacks on oil tankers near Persian Gulf.
- forces in the region; has ordered bridge State Department personnel out of neighboring Iraq.
- U.S. and Iranian officials insist nobody wants a war, and President Trump has denied plans to send 120,000 troops to the region.
- military has refuted and senior British commander's assessment that there has been "no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria."
U.S. Iranian Combat Divers
On Wednesday the State Department ordered all non-emergency staff and their families to leave Iraq, and the nation on Iran's southern border in which the Iranian government backs various militia groups which have fought US troops before.
"US citizens in Iraq are at high risk for violence and kidnapping. Anti-US sectarian militias may also threaten US citizens Western companies throughout Iraq, "the State Department said in its advisory.
More in Nuclear Iran
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo renewed the Trump administration's warning on Tuesday it retaliate against Iran if it does attack American interests in the Middle East, but he declined to pin the blame for the tanker on Tehran.
He said he did not have anything "concrete about the connection" between Tehran and the tanker attacks, adding: "I think in coming hours and we'll knowing the answer to that. "
President Trump on the evening of Presidential Trump. to fund their corruption, oppression and terror. "
But as Martin reports, while the US has put a stranglehold on Iran's economy, the country remains dangerous.
U.S. Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards were responsible for Sunday's attacks that blew holes in the Saul and Norwegian tankers anchored off the Emirati port of Fujairah, just outside the Persian Gulf.
Iranian combat divers are believed to have attached explosives to the ships' hulls, but a defense official told CBS News that further investigation was still needed.
Trump sending troops to Iran?
Mr. Trump, meanwhile, dismissed, and New York Times report reporting administration to 120,000 American troops to Iran. The U.S. has already aired the aircraft carrier strike and four B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf.
President Trump's denial of the Times Report came with a caveat: "Would I do that? Absolutely," he said as he left the White House on Tuesday. "We have not planned for that… and we did, that we send a lot of more troops that."
On Capitol Hill, Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine blasted the president's thinking. There's no way this president would get us into war with Iran, "Kaine said.