Iran warns Europe as diplomat says officials ‘lied’ on crash

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran’s president is warning that European soldiers deployed in the Mideast "could be in danger” after Britain, France and Germany challenged Tehran over breaking limits of its 2015 nuclear deal.

Hassan Rouhani made the comment on Wednesday during a televised Cabinet meeting.

It comes after the European nations started a dispute process over Iran breaking limits from the accord.

It marks the first time Rouhani has threatened Europe amid tensions with the U.S., which unilaterally withdrew from the deal in May 2018 under President Donald Trump.

European countries have thousands of troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, where they mainly operate alongside much larger U.S. deployments.

Meanwhile, Iran is allied with powerful armed groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. That’s why the words of Iran’s president are resonating in the region and beyond.

The Iranian president’s warning comes against the backdrop of a major escalation between Tehran and Washington this month.

Iran’s top diplomat says protests in the country erupted after people were “lied to” for days about the Ukrainian plane shootdown.

Iran’s state-run media said a British ambassador to Iran left the country after being arrested and briefly detained, accused of “coordinating” anti-government protests.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, rallied supporters Tuesday night by defending his decision to kill a top Iranian general. At the same time, the Democrats vying to replace him used their final debate before primary voting begins to argue that doing so made the country less safe.

Trump fired up thousands in the battleground state of Wisconsin while the Democratic candidates squared off in Iowa ahead of that state’s Feb. 3 caucuses.

One of the hopefuls, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, said he feared that Trump’s actions in Iran could lead the U.S. into a foreign policy quagmire of the highest level.

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