Iranian tensions continue to swirl, Europe seeks diplomacy

Iranian tensions continue to swirl, Europe seeks diplomacy

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Sailors assigned to the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 46 secure an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter on the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge in the Persian Gulf region on June 19 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Waite)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon continues to be on ready status for action against Iran after a weekend of private calibration of escalating war scenarios and more public exchanges between Washington and Tehran.

Iran said — and Washington confirmed — that a second U.S. military craft was near the drone that was shot down by Tehran Thursday. The military aircraft contained 39 individuals and was not targeted by Iran, Iranian officials said, according to news reports.

President Trump confirmed that information on Saturday.

The difference was meant by Tehran to show its precision capability at selecting targets as wells the relation that downed a manned aircraft, with any resultant loss of life, would have brought a major retaliation, Pentagon officials said this weekend.

Trump called off a strike at Iranian facilities on Thursday in the aftermath of the drone shoot down. However, the Pentagon went ahead with a cyber attack to disrupt Iranian missile and radar installation computers, officials confirmed.

The cyberattack option was first reported by TMN on June 17.

“Among the areas under consideration, according to Pentagon officials: sending more troops and hardware to the region, including ships, submarines and aircraft; cyber warfare focused on Iranian military assets; a limited strike on Iranian military assets, such as swarm boat facilities and minelayers; and organizing an international coalition to escort commercial ships through the Strait of Hormuz,” that story read in part.

Also over the weekend, the Indian navy announced it is sending two ships to the Gulf of Oman to guard shipping on Indian ships. Surveillance aircraft are also being sent as part of “Operation Sankalp,” according to media reports.

Additionally, leaders in Germany, France and the United Kingdom individually discussed diplomatic and political solutions to the crisis, with London sending top ministers to Tehran to “further open, frank and constructive engagement with the government of Iran,” according to news reports.

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