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Trump, Saudi Arabia Issue New Threats To Iran

May 20, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump has issued a new threat to Iran, saying a conflict would be the "official end" of the Islamic republic.

Trump's remarks on May 20 came as Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally, warned it was ready to respond to Tehran's alleged provocations with "all strength."

The warnings came amid concerns about a potential military conflict between the United States and Iran.

Washington has beefed up U.S. military assets in the Middle East and Persian Gulf, citing possible threats from Iran, and has ordered the evacuation of all nonessential personnel from the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Iraq.

A rocket landed in Baghdad's Green Zone near the U.S. Embassy compound on May 19 but caused no casualties or significant damage. There were no claims of responsibility.

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" Trump said in a tweet on May 20.

In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Trump had been "goaded" into "genocidal taunts."

"Economic terrorism and genocidal taunts won't 'end Iran'," Zarif tweeted on May 20.

Saudi Arabia has accused Tehran of ordering last week's drone strikes on two oil pumping stations in the kingdom, an attack claimed by Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen.

Last May, Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal that curbed Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from crippling sanctions. Since then, Washington has steadily stepped up its rhetoric and reimposed sanctions.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/trump- saudi-arabia-issue-new-threats -to-iran/29952391.html

Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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