25,171. 5/21/2019

CONGRESS/DEMS/IRAN/NATIONAL SECURITY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Top American national security officials sought to convince a divided Congress on Tuesday [5-21-19] about the seriousness of new threats from Iran as they defended intelligence that has prompted military deployments aimed at deterring attacks by Tehran. Democrats emerged from the classified briefings on Capitol Hill with sharp questions about whose actions ultimately led to the recent escalation: Tehran’s or the Trump administration’s. Late last week, Iran removed some missiles it had stationed on small boats in its territorial waters — a step American officials said was a sign that Iran was seeking to ease tensions. On Tuesday, American officials said Iran had threatened to target those missiles at Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure to drive up oil prices and disrupt international trade. Recent intelligence has indicated that Iran was considering such attacks in response to tough American sanctions against Iran’s oil sector and the administration’s decision to designate the paramilitary arm of Iran’s government a terrorist organization, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the analysis publicly.”

Julian E. Barnes, Catie Edmondson and Emily Cochrane, “U.S. Officials Work to Convince Divided Congress of Iran Threat,” The New York Times online, May 21, 2019

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