WASHINGTON: Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced recently the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East.
He said it was for “defensive purposes,” citing concerns about a threat from Iran.
Recent attacks, especially when two oil tankers were attacked last Thursday has sparked fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States, more than a year after President Donald Trump announced Washington was withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal.
“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behaviour by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said in a statement.
Iran said on Monday it would soon breach limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile under the deal, which a White House National Security Council spokesman said amounted to “nuclear blackmail.”
The 2015 accord, which Iran and the other signatories have maintained following Trump’s decision, caps Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium at 300 kg enriched to 3.67 per cent.