U.S. warships dispatch 'psychological war': Iran

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Tensions between the two countries flared after Iran partially pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal it signed with six other nations in 2015.

The commander of the Guards, Major General Hossein Salami, said in a parliament session on Sunday that the United States has started a psychological war in the region, according to a parliamentary spokesman.

On Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for unity among Iran's political factions to overcome conditions which he said may be harder than those during the 1980s war with Iraq, state media reported, as the country faces tightening US sanctions.

"We've seen this reporting", Pompeo said.

"The American war against Iran is not possible, because Washington does not have the ability and the courage to wage war against it", he said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned on Wednesday that Tehran could resume enrichment at a higher grade if the European powers, China and Russian Federation did not do more to circumvent USA sanctions on banking and energy to boost trade.

Under the accord, Iran had agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in worldwide inspectors in return for sanctions relief, a British media house reported.

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United States sanctions - particularly those on the energy, shipping and financial sectors - have hit oil exports and caused foreign investment to dry up.

Iran has met its terms but Trump withdrew because he believes the accord did not curtail Tehran's ballistic missile programme or address Iranian involvement in Syria's civil war, something Europeans argue the 2015 deal was not created to do.

The USS Abraham Lincoln is replacing another carrier rotated out of the Gulf last month.

The International Monetary Fund has said it expects the Iranian economy to shrink by six percent in 2019. US B-52 bombers have arrived at a base in Qatar.

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Sunday (May 13) the U.S. military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but now represents a target, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported.

CENTCOM, the USA forces for the Middle East and Afghanistan, said Friday on Twitter that the B-52 bombers arrived at the area of operations on May 8, without saying where they had landed.

He said that the USS Lincoln's new route to the Gulf was an example of "dynamic force employment" - a new Navy tactic that is meant to surprise potential adversaries by having United States ships show up off their coastlines without warning.

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