Trump denies any White House discord over Middle East moves

Trump blasted media reports about turmoil in the White House over a series of steps taken by the administration to up pressure on Iran. (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday predicted that Iran will “soon” want to negotiate and denied any discord in the White House over moves that critics say could lead to war in the Middle East.

“The Fake News Washington Post, and even more Fake News New York Times, are writing stories that there is infighting with respect to my strong policy in the Middle East. There is no infighting whatsoever,” Trump tweeted.

“Different opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision -- it is a very simple process,” Trump said. “I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.”

The United States on Wednesday ordered non-essential staff to leave its embassy in neighboring Iraq, claiming there is an “imminent” threat from Iranian-linked Iraqi militias.

Ten days ago, Trump also ordered an aircraft carrier and nuclear-capable bomber planes to deploy to the Gulf.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad last Tuesday and met with Iraqi officials after voicing US concern about Iraqi sovereignty due to increasing Iranian activity in the region.

According to a BBC Arabic report, Pompeo handed over a memory stick to Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi containing evidence of Iran’s plans to attack US interests in Iraq through its proxies in the country.

Democrats in Congress demanded that the Trump administration brief them on what it considers to be the Iran threat, warning that the US legislature has not approved military action against Tehran.

The White House says that Iran is sowing instability across the region.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55
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