Iraq won't allow United States to attack Iran from its territory

Allawi's allegation could help explain why, on Wednesday, the State Department ordered all nonemergency government employees to leave the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and U.S. Consulate in Erbil.

On May 5, Trump's hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton announced the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and a B-52 bomber force to the Gulf.

Washington and Tehran have said they have no intention of going to war, but tensions have soared in recent weeks and Trump's critics say he is rushing into a conflict. Quoted in the New York Times, the same official also said that any threat from Iran was insignificant.

Trump blasted media reports about turmoil in the White House, saying "there is no infighting whatsoever".

The White House was reportedly reluctant to share the intelligence with allies and even United States lawmakers, resulting in some complaints on both sides of the political aisle in Washington.

Senior State Department officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the threat came from Iraqi militias "commanded and controlled" by Tehran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

On Tuesday, Iran's Ayatollah, Seyed Ali Khamenei, said that any confrontation between the United States and Iran would not be "a military one", and that "there was not going to be any war".

"There is no doubt in my mind that under the circumstances, a partial ordered departure (from the embassy) is a reasonable thing to do". Today, over 15 years after the United States invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein's regime, the Islamic Republic is regarded as a main player in Iraq. "We have exercised maximum restraints", he said during a visit in Japan.

Hunt said he had discussed Iran with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week in London, and again in Brussels on Monday.

"The Iraqi government is responsible for protecting American interests in Iraq".

The move by the British government resembles a sharp change of policy from Wednesday, when the Foreign Office said it wasn't going to follow the USA withdrawal and a British general contradicted Washington's assessment of the security situation, saying of Iranian militias "No, there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria".

Separately, Iran's foreign minister said sanctions imposed by the Trump administration are "unacceptable" but added that his country is committed to an worldwide nuclear deal that has steadily unraveled amid rising tensions.

And in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday expressed concerns about "the continued escalation of tensions around this subject".

British, Netherlands and German forces in the worldwide coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria downplayed the immediate threat from Iran.

Some observers speculate that Tehran is seeking to retaliate over Washington's decision in April to put Iran's Revolutionary Guards on a terror blacklist - a move created to stymie their activities across the Middle East.

One or more vessels incurred light hull damage, but what caused the damage and who was behind it remains unknown. Major General Christopher Ghika was speaking via video-link from Baghdad during a Pentagon news conference. German defense ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff said there was "generally heightened alert, awareness" among soldiers in the region, but gave no specifics.

The Pentagon has said its deployments were "in response to indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against U.S. forces and our interests". A Foreign Office spokeswoman declined to immediately comment on the reports.

Now that the next wave of a proxy war is mounting, these Iraqi factions might once again rise as an Iranian tool to confront United States pressure. The Iraqi source said USA staff were headed for a military base at Baghdad airport.