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Iran says it helped a tanker with tow to harbor

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Latest on tensions in the Persian Gulf amid a crisis between the United States and Iran (all times local):

5:30 a.m.

Iran’s state-run media is quoting the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying the Islamic Republic helped an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz amid U.S. concern that Tehran seized one there.

The state-run IRNA news agency early Wednesday quoted Abbas Mousavi as saying Iran towed an unnamed vessel to harbor after it suffered a technical malfunction.

Iran says minister’s missile remarks meant to challenge US

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran says remarks by the country’s foreign minister about Iran’s missile program possibly being up for negotiations with the U.S. meant to challenge Washington’s arms sales policy to the region — and were not meant to indicate a readiness by Tehran for any such talks.

The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, tweeted late on Tuesday that Mohammad Javad Zarif’s comments “threw the ball into the U.S. court while challenging America’s arm sales” to its Mideast allies.

Top Iran diplomat says talks on ballistic missiles possible

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s foreign minister has for the first time suggested his country’s ballistic missile program could be on the table for negotiations with the U.S. — if America stops selling arms to its Gulf allies in the Mideast.

Mohammad Javad Zarif’s comments came in an NBC News interview that aired Monday night.

Iran long has maintained its ballistic missile program, under the control of its Revolutionary Guard, is for defensive purposes only. The 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran struck with world powers did not include its missile program.

Britain says Iranian vessels tried to block tanker in Gulf

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The British navy said it prevented three Iranian paramilitary vessels from impeding the passage of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz early Thursday, a day after Iran’s president warned of repercussions for the seizure of its own supertanker.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard denied the allegations, saying if it had received orders to seize any ships it would have done so immediately.

Saudi Arabia says it intercepts bomb-laden Yemen rebel drone

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia says it has intercepted a drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeting “civilian infrastructure” in the kingdom.

The announcement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency early Tuesday did not identify what the drone targeted.

The Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite television station said the Houthis sought to again target Abha regional airport, which they’ve hit several times in recent weeks, as well as a power station in Abha.

Attacks on Abha’s airport have wounded dozens and killed at least one person.

Iran’s nuclear program as 2015 deal unravels

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran announced Sunday it will raise its enrichment of uranium, breaking another limit of its faltering 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and further heightening tensions between Tehran and the U.S.

Iran made the decision a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal. Iran has repeatedly warned Europe in recent weeks that it would begin walking away from an accord neutered by a maximalist American campaign of sanctions that blocked Tehran’s oil sales abroad and targeted its top officials.

Experts fear ‘snowball effect’ as Iran abandons nuclear deal

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — As Iran prepares to surpass limits set by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, each step it takes narrows the time the country’s leaders would need to have enough highly enriched uranium for an atomic bomb — if they chose to build one.

The United Nations says Iran has so far respected the deal’s terms. But by Thursday, Iran says it will have over 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of low-enriched uranium in its possession, which would mean it had broken out of the atomic accord.

Saudi Arabia says it shot down Yemen drone

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Latest on tensions between the U.S. and Iran and in the Persian Gulf (all times local):

6:30 a.m.

Saudi Arabia says it has shot down a drone launched into the kingdom by Yemen’s Iranian-allied Houthi rebels.

Military spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki announced the shootdown of the drone Tuesday night near the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait.

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