DUBAI - American diplomats warned Saturday that commercial airliners flying over the wider Persian Gulf faced a risk of being “misidentified” amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran.

The warning relayed by US diplomatic posts from the Federal Aviation Administration underlined the risks the current tensions pose to a region crucial to global air travel. It came as Lloyd’s of London warned of increasing risks to maritime shipping in the region.

Meanwhile, oil giant ExxonMobil began evacuating staff from Basra, Iraq, where the US Consulate has been closed for months following a rocket attack America blamed on militias backed by Iran, local authorities said. The island nation of Bahrain also ordered its citizens out of Iraq and Iran over regional tensions.

Concerns about a possible conflict have flared since the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged, unexplained threat from Iran that has seen America order nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq.

President Donald Trump since has sought to soften his tone. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also stressed Saturday that Iran is “not seeking war,” comments seemingly contradicted by the head of the Revolutionary Guard, who declared an ongoing “intelligence war” between the nations.

Tensions between Trump’s top advisers escalate over Middle East strategy

Regional tensions remain high. Authorities allege that a sabotage operation targeted four oil tankers off the UAE coast, and Iran-aligned rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for a drone attack on a crucial Saudi oil pipeline.

Saudi Arabia directly blamed Iran for the drone assault, and a local newspaper linked to the Al Saud royal family called on Thursday for America to launch “surgical strikes” on Tehran.

This all takes root in Trump’s decision last year to withdraw the US from the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers and impose wide-reaching sanctions. Iran just announced it would begin backing away from terms of the deal, setting a 60-day deadline for Europe to come up with new terms or it would begin enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels.

The order relayed Saturday by US diplomats in Kuwait and the UAE came from an FAA Notice to Airmen published late Thursday in the US. It said that all commercial aircraft flying over the waters of Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman needed to be aware of “heightened military activities and increased political tension.”

This presents “an increasing inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations due to the potential for miscalculation or misidentification,” the warning said. It also said aircraft could experience interference with its navigation instruments and communications jamming “with little to no warning.”

The Persian Gulf has become a major gateway for East-West travel in the aviation industry. Dubai International Airport is the world’s busiest for international travel, while long-haul carriers Etihad and Qatar Airways also operate in the region.

Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways all said they were aware of the notice and their operations were unaffected. Oman Air did not respond to a request for comment Saturday about the warning.

The warning appeared rooted in what happened 30 years ago after Operation Praying Mantis, a daylong naval battle in the Persian Gulf between American forces and Iran during the country’s long 1980s war with Iraq. On July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes chased Iranian speedboats that allegedly opened fire on a helicopter into Iranian territorial waters, then mistook an Iran Air heading to Dubai for an Iranian F-14. The Vincennes fired two missiles at the airplane, killing all aboard the flight.

Meanwhile, Lloyd’s Market Association Joint War Committee added the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the UAE on Friday to its list of areas posing higher risk to insurers. It also expanded its list to include the Saudi coast as a risk area.

The USS Abraham Lincoln and its carrier strike group have yet to reach the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil traded at sea passes. A Revolutionary Guard deputy has warned that any armed conflict would affect the global energy market. Iran long has threatened to be able to shut off the strait.

According to a US media report, the ongoing US-Iran tensions have exposed the growing strains among President Trump’s top foreign policy advisers: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran has exacerbated fissures between the two men, especially   “over the tight control Bolton has tried to exert over the national security decision-making process,” Politico, an online news service, said.

Pompeo and his special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, have indicated that the Trump administration’s goal in pressuring Iran is renewed negotiations with Tehran.

But Bolton is a deep skeptic of the value of negotiating with adversaries, the sources said. “Though Bolton and Pompeo largely have the same hawkish instincts, when disagreements have arisen, Bolton has made clear why he has a reputation as bare-knuckled bureaucratic infighter,” Politico said.

While Pompeo has worked to carry out the president’s foreign policy directives, Bolton has at times contradicted the president, as when he walked back Trump’s call for a rapid US troop withdrawal from Syria.

US officials say that in the case of Iran, Pompeo and Bolton’s divergent approaches to working with the impulsive president has strained their relationship as the US increases its military presence in the Persian Gulf.