U.S. media including the Associated Press reported Saturday that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warned commercial airliners flying over the wider Gulf of the risk of being misidentified amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Military tensions in the Middle East are heightened as businesses and expatriates left Iraq and Bahrain.
According to The Associated Press, the FAA published a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) through which it said airliners operating in the region should beware of “heightened military activities and increased political tensions.” It also warned that commercial airliners may “encounter inadvertent GPS interference and other communications jamming” and civilian aircraft would face increased risks due to “miscalculation or misidentification.” Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates, the biggest airport in the Middle East and a hub that connects Asia and Europe, is also located in this region.
Inhabitants in Bahrain and Iraq are withdrawing as well. The Bahrain government advised its citizens residing in Iran and Iraq to leave the country, citing instability in the region. It also warned citizens to refrain from travelling the region. The largest U.S. oil company Exxon Mobil also withdrew all 50 staff who were dispatched to an oil field in the southern Iraqi province of Basra.
AFP reported that Saudi Arabia had called for urgent meetings of the regional Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League to discuss escalating tensions in the Gulf. Saudi Arabia, the arch-nemesis of Iran, is suspecting that Iran was behind the recent attack of oil transformers and tankers.
Polytico said the conflict between Bolton and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has surfaced. He added that the differences between Pompeii and Bolton, who emphasize diplomatic solutions, are too great. Last month, when the US government decided to extend an exception to the ban on Iranian oil imports to eight countries including South Korea and Japan, the two were sharply confronted.
Polytico said Pompey's dissatisfaction with Bolton's consultation with President Donald Trump on his own without consulting ministries was also significant. Bolton added that he was irritated by the unilateral announcement of sensitive foreign policy through Twitter.
However, President Trump said there is a concern that Bolton's future position will be narrowed, fearing the tensions in the Middle East and the possibility of a war with Iran on account of the enormous cost of war. CNN said on December 17, "The president is giving 'irritation' to hard-liners such as Bolton. The president recently called the outsiders and filed a complaint against Bolton. "