In this Friday, May 17, 2019, photo released by the U.S. Navy, the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge sail in formation as part of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group in the Arabian Sea. Commercial airliners flying over the Persian Gulf risk being targeted by "miscalculation or misidentification" from the Iranian military amid heightened tensions between the Islamic Republic and the U.S., American diplomats warned Saturday, May 19, 2019, even as both Washington and Tehran say they don't seek war. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur, U.S. Navy via AP)
Trump threatens Iran with “official end” as tensions rise
US President Donald Trump has threatened Iran in a tweet, raising concerns about a potential US-Iran conflict at a time when tensions between Washington and Tehran have risen.
“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again,” Trump said in a tweet on Sunday.
Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, and his administration says it has built up the US military presence in the region. It accuses Iran of threats to US troops and interests.
Tehran has described US moves as “psychological warfare” and a “political game”.
It comes as Saudi Arabia said it wants to avert war in the region but stands ready to respond with “all strength” following last week’s attacks on Saudi oil assets, telling Iran that the ball is now in its court.
Riyadh has accused Tehran of ordering Tuesday’s drone strikes on two oil pumping stations in the kingdom, claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group.
Two days earlier, four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.
In response, countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council began “enhanced security patrols” in the international waters of the Arabian Gulf area on Saturday, the US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said on Sunday.