Early Wednesday, the State Department announced it was withdrawing all non-essential personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. consulate in Erbil "given the current security conditions", but did not detail the nature of any threat.
His comments come as tensions escalate in the region, with the United States deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers in response to Iran-related threats. Iraqi officials expressed skepticism about any purported threats - as did a senior British official who is the deputy commander of the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State.
TOKYO - Iran remains committed to its obligations under a multilateral nuclear deal despite the United States' withdrawal from the landmark agreement past year, its foreign minister said on Thursday, calling the USA escalation of sanctions "unacceptable".
The US in recent days has ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group to the Gulf region, plus four B-52 bombers.
European Union chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday that she does not want to see a military escalation between the USA and Iran.
"The Trump administration has not provided any information to this committee on the intelligence behind their decisions, or what they plan to do in Iraq or Iran", said Senator Bob Menendez, the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations panel.
The United Arab Emirates, a key USA ally in the region, has even said it is committed to a "de-escalation" with Iran.
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"This is an imminent threat to our personnel", said a second official. "The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq", the statement said. "The much more appropriate analogy is Iraq 2011". "They know it will not be in their interest", he said, as quoted on his official website.
The US State Department has ordered the departure of "non-emergency government employees" from Iraq, in another show of concern about alleged threats from Iran. "And I believe that Israel and all the countries of the region and all the countries who seek peace in the world should stand together with the United States against Iranian aggression". The hypothetical plan would reportedly be implemented if Tehran speeds up its nuclear weapons program - or in the event American troops are attacked by Iran.
Germany and the Netherlands said Wednesday they were suspending training of soldiers in Iraq.
The attack on the tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-fifth of the world's oil consumption flows, appeared created to test the resolve of the USA and its Sunni Muslim allies without triggering a war, analysts said.
Sa'dullah Zare'i, a hardliner analysts wrote in an article for the Kayhan newspaper, affiliated with the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Monday 13 May that Iran should "impose a cost on the United States so that America's economic war would not be unilateral" any longer.
Still, that hasn't stopped the United States from moving ahead with its claims against Iran. "That's Congress's job - and that's why I'm supporting this legislation to prevent a war with Iran".