Turkey to continue buying oil from Iran despite U.S. pressures


News reported earlier Thursday that President Donald Trump's decision to deploy an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to the Persian Gulf was based in part on intelligence that Iran had informed some of its proxy forces that they can now go after American military personnel and assets in the region, according to three USA officials familiar with the intelligence.

On May 5, the White House announced it would send the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and the bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter Tehran. Others landed at an undisclosed location Wednesday.

"The pressures by enemies is a war unprecedented in the history of our Islamic revolution. but I do not despair and have great hope for the future and believe that we can move past these hard conditions provided that we are united", Rouhani told activists from various factions.

Washington has not elaborated on the alleged threat, drawing criticism that it is overreacting and unnecessarily driving up tensions in the region.

"An aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6,000 forces gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past but now. the threats have switched to opportunities", said Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Iranian Guards' aerospace division.

The US-Iran escalation has put into question the future of the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran signed with Germany and the UN Security Council's five permanent members: US, UK, France, Russia and China.

The sweeping unilateral sanctions that Washington re-imposed when it quit the agreement a year ago have dealt a severe blow to the Iranian economy, pushing the value of its currency to record lows, driving away foreign investors and triggering protests.

"The Department of Defence continues to closely monitor the activities of the Iranian regime, their military and proxies", it said.

"Reporting indicates heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and interests".

Japanese refiners are tapping more oil from the Middle East after the United States ended all waivers from sanctions on Iran starting from this month.

"If they do, we are open to talk to them".

Last month, the USA also blacklisted Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, designating it as a foreign terrorist group. MARAD said, adding: "Reporting indicates heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against United States forces and interests".

Iran announced last week that it had suspended two commitments under the nuclear accord, and threatened to step up uranium enrichment if it was not shielded from the effects of the sanctions within 60 days.

In response to a question regarding the reasons behind Turkey's opposition to US's oil sanctions on Iran, the İRAM Center vice director said that Turkey is concerned that the USA sanctions will further destabilize the region as well as Iran, adding that the USA administration's Israeli-oriented approach will create other crises in the region.