The State Department on Wednesday ordered non-essential staff to leave the U.S. embassy in Iraq due to rising tensions with neighboring Iran. Iran's U.K. ambassador, Hamid Baeidinejad, said Tuesday that the Trump administration is playing a "very dangerous game" by ratcheting up sanctions and sending military assets to the Persian Gulf region. He said the U.S. is trying to "drag Iran into an unnecessary war." Baeidinejad's comments came after a New York Times report that Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had presented national security officials with a plan for sending as many as 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks U.S. forces in the region or accelerates work to build nuclear weapons.

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