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Trump: At Least Iran Doesn’t Know What to Think

Trump: At Least Iran Doesn’t Know What to Think

Saturday, 18 May, 2019 - 05:15
This handout picture released by the US Navy on May 10, 2019 shows naval logistics specialists attaching cargo to an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the "Nightdippers" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). MC3 Amber Smalley / Navy Office of Information / AFP
Washington - Heba El Koudsy
US President Donald Trump has criticized US media outlets for their “fraudulent” coverage of Iran amid growing tension in the Gulf.

“The Fake News Media is hurting our Country with its fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran,” he said on Twitter on Friday.

He described it as “poorly sourced” and “dangerous.”

“At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!” Trump continued.

The United States is "sitting by the phone" but has heard no message yet from Iran that it is willing to accept Trump's overtures for direct talks, a senior Trump administration official said on Friday.

"We think they should de-escalate and come to negotiations," the official, who declined to be identified, told a small group of reporters.

Also Friday, a State Department spokesman said Washington takes all alleged sanctions violations seriously and will take action as appropriate, responding to a question about a tanker unloading Iranian fuel oil at a Chinese port.

Reuters on Thursday reported that a tanker carrying nearly 130,000 tons of Iranian fuel oil had unloaded its cargo into storage tanks near the Chinese city of Zhoushan.

“The United States takes all alleged sanctionable activities seriously and will take action as appropriate. We are committed to enforcing our sanctions, especially those related to Iran’s oil and petrochemicals sectors,” the State Department spokesman said in an emailed response.

He said the department was aware of the specific report about the tanker but declined to comment on it.

Meanwhile, two Navy guided-missile destroyers, the USS McFaul and USS Gonzalez, have traveled through the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday afternoon without challenge from Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, Pentagon defense officials said.

The McFaul and Gonzalez will be part of the Abraham Carrier Strike Group.

The USS Arlington amphibious transport dock ship and a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery are being moved to the Middle East. Also, four B-52 bombers have been sent to the region.

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