Reuters LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) — Iran could target U.S. commercial ships including oil tankers, the U.S. Maritime Administration said on Friday, as a senior Iranian cleric said a U.S. Navy fleet could be “destroyed with one missile.”
In the latest tense exchange between Tehran and Washington, Iran’s hardline Revolutionary Guards separately said Iran would not negotiate with the United States, a stance that seemed partly aimed at discouraging Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his moderate allies from taking up a U.S. offer of talks.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Iran’s leaders talk with him about giving up their nuclear program and said he could not rule out a military confrontation.
Trump made the offer as he increased economic and military pressure on Iran, moving to cut off all Iranian oil exports this month while beefing up the U.S. Navy and Air Force presence in the Gulf.
The U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln passed through Egypt’s Suez Canal on Thursday and American B-52 bombers have also arrived at a U.S. base in Qatar, U.S. Central Command said.
Iran has dismissed both moves — which the United States said it took after U.S. intelligence signaled possible preparations by Tehran to attack U.S. forces or interests — as “psychological warfare” designed to intimidate it.Speech