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USS Abraham Lincoln Image Credit: Youtube screengrab

Dubai : As increased tensions between the US and Iran give rise to fears of an armed confrontation, a senior US official has said on Wednesday that Washington does not seek war with Iran, adding that Washington had an “indication” of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct operations against US interests in the region.

“We responded using our military assets [carrier strike group and bombers] to send a message to the Iranian regime that any attack on us or our allies will be met with force. The US does not seek war with Iran but we will continue putting maximum pressure on Iran until it changes its behaviour,” Brian Hook, US Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a telephonic press briefing with journalists.

Hook said US measures would make “Iran’s foreign policy prohibitively expensive. Iran will not be given a veto over US national security”.

Iran said on Wednesday it had started scaling-back some commitments under the nuclear pact and threatened to do more if world powers did not protect it from US sanctions. Hook said Iran’s reduction of some commitments under its 2015 nuclear deal was against international norms.

Pompeo said in London earlier Wednesday that Washington will wait to see if Iran follows through on threats to limit its compliance with nuclear deal before deciding how to react. He said Iran’s threat to resume higher enrichment of uranium in 60 days appeared aspirational and was vague on whether it would follow through.

Earlier, Tim Morrison, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Biodefence, told a conference that Washington was not ‘done’ with imposing sanctions on Iran. “Expect more sanctions soon. Very soon,” he said.

–With inputs from agencies