The Latest: Iran presidents seeks wartime executive powers

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The Latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere in the Mideast amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):

11 a.m.

Iran’s president has told a group of clerics that he is seeking expanded, wartime executive powers to better deal with an “economic war” triggered by the Trump administration’s pullout from the nuclear deal and escalating U.S. sanctions.

The state IRNA news agency reported late Monday that President Hassan Rouhani cited the 1980s war with Iraq, when a wartime supreme council was able to bypass other branches to make decisions regarding the economy and the war.

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The report didn’t say what the new powers would entail but quoted Rouhani as saying that “today, we need such powers.”

Rouhani says Iran is facing unprecedented problems in “banking and selling oil” but that the country “is united that we should resist the U.S. and the sanctions.”

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7 a.m.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels say they launched a bomb-laden drone targeting an airport in Saudi Arabia that also has a military base inside of it.

The Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel said early on Tuesday they targeted the airport in Najran with a Qasef-2K drone, striking an “arms depot” there.

A statement earlier Tuesday on the state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted Saudi-led coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki as saying the Houthis “had tried to target” a civilian site in Najran.

The New York Times last year reported that American intelligence analysts were based in Najran assisting the Saudis. The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last week, the Houthis launched a coordinated drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S.

AP

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