Trump says Iran will 'suffer greatly' if US is provoked

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(Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

United States President Donald Trump warned Iran against a military provocation and said the country "will suffer greatly" if hostilities break out with the US.

"We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything it'll be a very bad mistake, if they do anything," Trump told reporters on Monday during a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House.

"I'm hearing little stories about Iran," Trump added. "If they do anything they will suffer greatly".

Saudi Arabia claimed that two of its oil tankers were attacked on Sunday while sailing toward the Persian Gulf.

The United Arab Emirates foreign ministry on Sunday reported that four commercial ships were attacked by an unknown adversary.

The precise nature of the incident remained unclear. Saudi Arabia’s state run Saudi Press Agency described it as "a sabotage attack".

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi described the maritime incident as "concerning and regrettable" and called for efforts to shed light on what exactly happened, the semi-official Tasnim News reported.

He warned against "foreign seditious plots to upset the region’s security and stability".

Tensions are rising between the US and Iran after the Trump administration earlier this month ended exceptions to US sanctions on Iranian oil sales.

The Islamic Republic has threatened to block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz and has said it may increase uranium enrichment beyond limits allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal that Trump abandoned.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said last week that an aircraft carrier and bombers would be deployed to the region to counter unspecific Iranian threats.

Asked what Iran should be worried the US might do, the president said: "You can figure it out yourself. They know what I mean".

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