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U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Removed Missile Threat From Boats

Category: Diplomatic Relations,Politics

Even so, the confrontation is far from entirely defused. Lloyd’s of London, the international insurance company, announced on Friday that it would raise insurance rates for the entire Persian Gulf, a move it made in response to attacks on four oil tankers on May 13.

And military officials said they expected the Pentagon’s Central Command in the coming weeks to request more air and naval forces in the Middle East — more to bulk up its deterrent force, and avert future showdowns, than to deal with the current tensions.

The entire House will be briefed on the Iran intelligence in a lawmakers-only forum next Tuesday in a secure auditorium. Nearly all of the Trump administration’s top national security officials will lead the discussion, including Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Shanahan and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Notably absent from that list, as announced by House Democrats, was John R. Bolton, the White House national security adviser — who has taken perhaps the most hard-line approach to Iran policy among Mr. Trump’s top aides.

After Friday’s closed-door briefing with Pentagon and intelligence officials, some House Democrats acknowledged that the threat from Iran was serious. But without going into the details of the classified assessment, they voiced concern that the Trump administration’s intensifying pressure campaign against the Iranians could still tip into open conflict.

“I have very little confidence in this administration’s ability to de-escalate this conflict,” Representative Jason Crow, Democrat of Colorado and a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq, said in a telephone interview.

But some House Republicans supported the administration’s handling of the confrontation, praising the White House’s decision to accelerate the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln’s sailing to the gulf region, and deploy B-52 bombers to a major air base in Qatar.

“I’m comfortable the intelligence warranted the administration’s response to both protect our troops overseas and send a strong signal to the Iranians that, unlike in the past, there would be serious consequences for harming Americans or its allies,” said Representative Michael Waltz, Republican of Florida and a former Army Green Beret.


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