U.S. to send more troops to the Middle East

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 18, 2019 - Duration: 02:17s

U.S. to send more troops to the Middle East

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were defensive purposes, citing concerns about a threat from Iran.

Ryan Brooks reports.

U.S. to send more troops to the Middle East

**EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS VIDEO REPLACES VISUALS IN PREVIOUS VERSION OF IRAN CENTRIFUGES** The United States will deploy an extra one thousand troops to the Middle East - that's according to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Monday (June 17).

He points to concerns about a mounting threat from Iran.

It's in addition to another troop increase announced last month.

Fears of confrontation between Iran and the U.S. have been growing since Thursday (June 13), two oil tankers were attacked - which Washington has blamed on Tehran.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, SAYING: "The United States is considering a full range of options." With tensions mounting the United States on Monday released new images it said were proof of Iran's role in the tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

The U.S military's Central Command said the images showed members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from the side of the Kokuka Courageous, one of two ships hit in the attacks.

Tehran has denied any role in the incidents.

The new images come hours after Iran vowed to break out of the curbs on enriching low-grade uranium under the 2015 nuclear deal after President Trump pulled the US out of the deal last year over the objections of US allies.

Reuters' Jonathan Landay has more.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JONATHAN LANDAY, REUTERS FOREIGN POLICY REPORTER, SAYING: "The Iran nuclear deal specifies Iran is not allowed to store more than 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium.

Iran has announced it is accelerating the production of that kind of uranium and that within the next 10 or so days, it will exceed that limit." That amount is still far below what would be needed for a nuclear bomb.

Even so, the U.S. said Tehran was engaging in "nuclear blackmail." The U.S. has already slapped tough new sanctions on Iran's oil and steel sectors, and is pushing other nations to go along.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JONATHAN LANDAY, REUTERS FOREIGN POLICY REPORTER, SAYING: "The question is, what the Europeans will do.

Iran's decision to exceed the accelerate production and exceed uranium storage limit is aimed at pressuring the European to take action to end Iran's economic isolation, the economic isolation that is a result of US sanctions." (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, SAYING: "The world needs to unite against this threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on Sunday (June 16) said the U.S. does not want war with Iran, but that a military response to the attacks was not off the table.

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