US orders embassy staff from Iraq amid Iran 'threat'

Updated: few hours ago

Washington, May 15 (AFP) The US on Wednesday ordered all non-emergency staff to leave its embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Arbil, ramping up alarm over an alleged Iran threat even as allies appeared less than convinced.

A senior Democratic senator demanded President Donald Trump's administration brief Congress on the Iran threat, warning that the US legislature has not approved military action against Tehran.

And Moscow expressed concerns that both Washington and Tehran were dangerously stoking tensions, as the Pentagon ramped up its forces in the Gulf with B-52 bombers, Patriot missiles and an aircraft carrier task force.

The embassy evacuation came 10 days after Trump's national security advisor John Bolton announced the military deployment in response to intelligence on an unspecified "imminent" plot by Iran to attack US forces or allies.