Saturday, US diplomats warned that commercial airliners flying over the wider Persian Gulf faced a risk of being “misidentified” amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran.
The warning relayed by US diplomatic posts from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) underlined the risks the current tensions pose to a region Key to global air travel.
Concerns about a possible conflict have flared since the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged, unexplained threat from Iran that has seen America order nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq.
Authorities allege that a sabotage operation targeted 4 Crude Oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Iran-aligned rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for a drone attack on a crucial Saudi Oil pipeline.
Saudi Arabia directly blamed Iran for the drone assault, and a local newspaper has called for America to launch “surgical strikes” on Tehran.
Thursday, President Trump said he hoped the United States was not heading to war with Iran as he met with Switzerland President Ueli Maurer, whose nation has served as a diplomatic conduit between the two countries.
Asked by reporters Washington was going to war with Tehran, President Trump responded, “Hope not” as he greeted Mr. Maurer at the White House.
Tensions have escalated in recent days with increasing concerns about a potential US-Iran conflict. Earlier this week the United States pulled some diplomatic staff from its embassy in Baghdad following weekend attacks on 4 Oil tankers in the Gulf.
Switzerland, a neutral country, has historically been a liaison between the United States and Iran, which have no diplomatic relations.
A White House statement said the 2 leaders discussed “a range of international issues, including the crises in the Middle East and in Venezuela.”
“President Trump expressed his gratitude for Switzerland’s role in facilitating international mediation and diplomatic relations on behalf of the United States,” the statement said.
President Trump prefers a diplomatic route with Iran and direct talks with its leaders.