Just hours after US National Security Advisor John Bolton formally accused Tehran of conducing the May 12 tanker “sabotage” attacks near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran’s foreign ministry has responded that “we are ready for war” amid fears that Washington could still be on a war footing in the Persian Gulf.
“We hope that we can start a dialogue, but we are ready for war,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told RIA Novosti.
Bolton had told a press conference earlier in the day in Dubai, “The point is to make it very clear to Iran and its surrogates that these kinds of actions risk a very strong response from the United States.”AP file photo of US troops in Saudi Arabia during 1990 Gulf War.
Bolton is in Abu Dhabi attending an emergency summit of gulf leaders to consider the implications of both the “sabotage” tanker attacks near Fujairah emiriate in the UAE and the drone strikes two days following on a Saudi Aramco pipeline and oil pumping station.
Meanwhile acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters while in Asia for a major policy speech on the region, “nobody wants war” with Iran. However, he added that the US is ready and willing to “defend ships in the Strait of Hormuz” if necessary.
Also of note is that Shanahan for the first time identified that 900 American troops newly deployed to the Middle East in response to the heightened Iran threat are headed to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
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