Donald Trump boasts US nuclear weapons are in 'tip-top shape' in thinly-veiled threat to Iran

DONALD Trump bizarrely boasted his nukes are in tip-top condition in what is being seen as a chilling warning to Iran.

The US President's worrying words come days after he said his military was “locked and loaded” as the Middle East inches towards a full-scale war.

He told reporters at the White House last night: "Nobody can beat us militarily. No-one can even come close.

"Our nuclear was getting very tired. Now we have it in, as we would say, tippy-top shape. Tippy top. We have new and we have renovated and it’s incredible.

"We all should pray we never have to use it."

Trump was responding to questions about the US’s military capability after Iranian-backed militia were blamed for a drone attack on a Saudi oil field.

The President earlier revealed he is to send troops to Saudi Arabia following a drone attack on the world's biggest oil plant.

Trump confirmed the deployment after admitting there were many options on the table, including the “ultimate option“ – war with Iran.

In response, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said any US or Saudi military strike against Tehran would bring "all-out war".

Huge fires were seen engulfing two major Saudi Arabian oil plants at around 4am on Saturday.

Oil prices rose as much as 20 per cent to above $71.00 (£57) a barrel — the biggest percentage spike in almost three decades.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said today the attack was a "dramatic escalation of Iranian aggression" as he confirmed troops will be deployed to beef up Saudi air defences

He added: "The president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature."

Esper said "all indications are that Iran was responsible for" the drone attack on the world's biggest oil plant that could cut the world's supply in half.

But he said the US "does not seek conflict with Iran"  – although he warned they "have many other military options available should they be necessary".

Troops and military equipment will also be sent to neighbouring United Arab Emirates, which is a Saudi ally – but the US has not been specific with numbers.

US and Iran – a troubled history

  • Before the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran was one of America's biggest allies in the Middle East and was led by the US-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
  • However, since the seismic revolt, Iran has been led by murderous Islamic fundamentalists and tensions with Washington have remained ever since.
  • On November 4, 1979, the Iranian regime took 52 US diplomats hostage in response to President Carter’s administration allowing Iran’s deposed former leader into America.
  • The hostage crisis lasted for 444 days and also included a failed rescue mission which cost the lives of eight US soldiers.
  • In April 1980, the US ended diplomatic relations with Iran – a break which lasted for more than 30 years.
  • In April 1983, Washington blamed the Iranian-funded terror group Hezbollah for carrying out a bombing attack on the American embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.
  • The assault, carried out amid a brutal civil war in Lebanon, killed 17 Americans.
  • In November of that year, two truck bombs in Beruit killed 241 US peace keepers. The US again blamed Hezbollah for the incident.
  • The Clinton White House, in 1995, placed a total embargo on Iran meaning US companies could not trade with the country.
  • And in 2002, George W Bush included the Islamic Republic in his famous “Axis of evil” speech along with North Korea and Iraq.

Tehran's ally in Yemen’s civil war, the Houthi movement, claimed responsibility for the oil plant attacks despite their lack of technology. 

Iran has denied having any involvement, but the Pentagon says weapons were “Iranian produced and were not launched from Yemen".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also accused Iran of "an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply."

The US was backed by Saudi Arabia, who said photos show impacts consistent with the attack coming from the direction of Iran or Iraq, rather than from Yemen to the south.

Iran retaliated by defiantly vowing to shoot down US warplanes. 

War in the Middle East erupted in 2015 with the Iran-aligned Houthi rebel movement battling against the Yemeni government and a Saudi-led coalition.

The violence has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine and killed more than 90,000 people since 2015, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.

Now the coalition launches air strikes almost every day, while the Houthis often fire missiles into Saudi Arabia.

Tensions have also been rising in the region because of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi Arabia and the US both blamed Iran for attacks in the Gulf on two oil tankers in June and July.

And in May, four tankers – two Saudi-flagged – were damaged by explosions within the UAE's territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman.

The shipping lane rivalry was exacerbated even further in June when Iran shot down a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz.

Trump imposed severe sanctions on Iran aimed at halting its oil exports altogether in a bid to shut down its nuclear weapons programme.

He is due to meet with Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel to discuss Brexit, Iran and the climate crisis at the United Nations.

The leaders will meet on Sunday in New York for the annual General Assembly where world leaders will also convene for the UN's Climate Action Summit.

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