WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would “suffer greatly” if it targeted U.S. interests after Washington deployed an aircraft carrier and more jet fighters at a time of rising tensions with Tehran.
“We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “If they do anything they will suffer greatly.”
Trump’s comments came after the United Arab Emirates reported four commercial vessels had been sabotaged on Sunday near Fujairah emirate just outside the Strait of Hormuz. Iran sought to distance itself from the incident.
Washington withdrew last year from a 2015 pact between Iran and global powers aimed at reining in Tehran’s nuclear plans. Since then, the United States has ratcheted up sanctions on Iran, saying it wanted to reduce its oil exports to zero.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled a trip to Moscow on Monday and instead stopped in Brussels to share information on “escalating” threats from Iran with European allies and NATO officials, the U.S. special representative for Iran said.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Richard Chang