Pompeo: ‘Absolutely’ the Case We’ve Seen Escalatory Action from Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal previous year, and subsequently reimposed tough sanctions on Iran, including on its lifeblood oil exports with the stated intent of reducing them to zero and starving Iran's economy.

US officials have spoken in recent days of intelligence suggesting a military threat from Iran, although they have not given specific details. A US official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said American troops at land and sea could be targeted. Netanyahu has cheered US President Doanld Trump's decision to pull out of the landmark deal and urged other signatories to do the same.

Iran will partially withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, the Islamic Republic announced on Wednesday, on the one year anniversary of America's exit from the agreement.

He threatened that higher-level uranium enrichment would resume if new nuclear deal terms were not reached by the deadline.

A second French official later said that if Tehran failed to comply with the deal, the issue would be treated through a dispute mechanism under the accord itself, which could lead to the reimposition of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has been under intense domestic political pressure to produce some kind of countermeasure following the USA withdrawal.

"The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces", National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a statement.

Iran has said its development of ballistic missiles has nothing to do with its nuclear activity and is entirely defensive in nature - and that its support for regional allies is not Washington's business. A letter was also sent to Russian Federation.

During his speech, Mr Rouhani said that Iran will stop selling heavy water, which is a component of making nuclear weapons and nuclear energy that is not radioactive. "We will continue to fight those who would kill us".

There was no immediate response from the US. The sanctions relief from the five other signatories has brought little help.

The irresponsible policies of the United States government have led to an "unacceptable situation" in which the multilateral pact on Iran's nuclear program may fail, the Russian foreign minister said after Tehran suspended part of the deal.

The New York Times on Monday cited senior USA officials that new threats by Iran against US troops in Iraq were behind the sudden deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and Air Force bombers to the Persian Gulf. Iranian state television and the semi-official Fars news agency similarly suggested an Iranian response loomed.

The 2015 deal lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to rein in its nuclear activities in return for an easing of sanctions. That's compared to the 10,000 kilograms (22,046 pounds) of higher-enriched uranium it once had.

  • Jon Douglas