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What’s on tap today: The United States weighs all options, including military force,after attacks on tankers near the Persian Gulf, the United States readies cyberattacks on the Russian grid, and Turkey displays a mock-up of its own fighter jet a week after the Pentagon announced new steps to cut Ankara out of the F-35 program.
More U.S. Troops to Persian Gulf?
All options on the table. The United States is weighing its next steps in what appears to be turning into a shadow war with Iran. As part of an effort to rallyforeign leaders, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the Trump administration is considering “a full range of options” after blaming Tehran for the latest attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week.
Hours later, Iran confirmed that it will abandon key parts of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States withdrew from last year, unless Europe helps it circumvent punishing U.S. sanctions. But European diplomats are finding it extremely difficult to find an alternative to U.S. financial dominance, Keith Johnson reports.
At the Pentagon, officials are reportedly weighing a proposal from U.S. Central Command to send as many as 6,000 additional forces to the region, including two fighter squadrons, U.S. Navy destroyers and submarines, as well as several Patriot missile defense batteries. New details about Thursday’s attacks emerged over the weekend, with media outlets reporting that Iranians fired on an American MQ-9 Reaper drone as the unmanned surveillance aircraft flew over the scene.
Republican lawmaker calls for action. Some U.S. lawmakers even went so far as to call for strikes against Iran in response to the tanker attacks. “I think it needs to be clear, and hopefully it is clear to Iran, that basically, this is it,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the Illinois Republican, told Fox News on Sunday. “This is about the extent of what we’ll accept.”
But Dems oppose war. But Democrats in Congress pushed back on the administration’s fiery response. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that “we have absolutely no appetite for going to war with Iran,” and questioned the administration’s motivations in provoking the regime.
Allies balk. Some U.S. allies, too, are reluctant to join the administration in forthrightly blaming Iran for the Thursday attack, which targeted a Japanese-owned and Norwegian-owned vessel–including Japan and Norway, write Robbie Gramer and Lara Seligman. At least one ally, however, is fully on board with Washington’s blame game: Saudi Arabia.