Trump tries to tamp down talk of war with Iran

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Iranian army chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi vowed: "If the enemy miscalculates and commits a strategic error, it will receive a response which will make it regret (its action)", the semi-official news agency Mehr reported. "I don't know why President Trump is confident".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono share a laugh at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on Thursday.

Also on Friday, Britain's Foreign Office advised against all travel to Iran by British-Iranian dual nationals.

President Trump and Swiss President Ueli Maurer are meeting at the White House on Thursday, as tensions with Iran mount.

Iran's foreign minister held talks with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Friday amid heightened Middle East tensions and efforts by Tehran to keep its world markets open following the USA withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

President Trump has begun turning to the retired four-star General Jack Keane, former vice chief of staff of the United States army, according to The New York Times, as reports grow of his frustration at his belligerent national security adviser, John Bolton, who he worries is trying to provoke a conflict with Iran.

The White House and Pentagon remained under pressure to demonstrate the reason for the huge buildup in forces and heightened rhetoric of the past 11 days.

What appears to have happened since then is that pulling out created a vacuum that is now being filled by hardline officials like national security adviser John Bolton, who apparently has wanted war with Iran since he wore short trousers. Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

On Wednesday the U.S. Trump's criticized the deal and alleged violations on the part of Iran, even as his own administration's officials like then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis said none existed. They referred to the selective use of intelligence "to justify the march to war" in Iraq in 2003.

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The intelligence has sparked heated debate among the White House, Pentagon, the CIA and U.S. allies over the level of threat from Iran, according to the Times. Asked if the us might be on a path to war with the Iranians, the president answered, "I hope not".

The Trump administration meanwhile appeared divided on how hard of a line to take.

While Trump grumbles about Bolton somewhat regularly, his discontent with his national security adviser is not near the levels it reached with Rex Tillerson when he served as Trump's secretary of state, the official added.

The vocal hawk called the move "a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force".

The call followed Mr Pompeo's trip to Russian Federation, where he said his country "fundamentally" did not seek a conflict, but added that the United States would "certainly respond in an appropriate fashion" if USA interests were attacked.

The withdrawal of the frigate came about because "the US government has taken a decision outside of the framework of what had been agreed with the Spanish Navy", acting Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles told reporters in Belgium, according to Reuters.

Trump said on Thursday he hoped the USA was not on a path to war with Iran, but some wonder if his two most hawkish advisers could be angling for such a confrontation.

Bolton, who advocated regime change in Iran before joining the White House past year, is "just in a different place" from Trump, although the president has been a fierce critic of Iran since long before he hired Bolton. "There is no infighting whatsoever".

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