On Iran war Trump says ‘hope not’ amid tensions

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WASHINGTON

P r e s i d e n t Donald Trump said Thursday that he hopes war with Iran is not inevitable as tensions continue to run at a fever pitch between the rivals. Asked by a reporter at the White House if Washington and Tehran are headed to war, Trump responded nonchalantly Hope not. The president did not elaborate as he prepared to host Swiss President Ueli Maurer.

The historically neutral country of Switzerland regularly serves as an intermediary between the US and Iran. Trump said Wednesday he is sure Iran will want to engage in dialogue soon amid a U.S. military buildup in the Middle East that his administration says is geared towards deterring unspecified threats from Tehran. Neither Trump nor his top officials have elaborated on the nature of those alleged threats as the US sends an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region in what they call a precaution to deter any potential attack from Iran.

The US has also ordered the departure of non-essential staff from its diplomatic offices in Iraq.

Four oil tankers were targeted off the United Arab Emirates in what is being called a sabotage attack, and a Saudi oil pipeline was targeted with drones claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. — VoM

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