Recently nominated Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan took questions from the press Tuesday morning outside the Pentagon and provided insight on increasingly tense diplomatic relations between the Trump administration and the Iranian regime. Reuters reports:
Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Tuesday that while the threats from Iran in the Middle East remained high, deterrence measures taken by the Pentagon had “put on hold” the potential for attacks on Americans.
It was unclear exactly what Shanahan meant and Pentagon officials could not immediately clarify whether the threat from Iran had been diminished.
“There haven’t been any attacks on Americans. I would consider that a hold,” Shanahan told reporters.
“That doesn’t mean that the threats that we’ve previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan, who was named Acting Defense Secretary to replace James Mattis after he resigned, reportedly met with Congressional officials alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Over the past week or so, there has been a significant rise in saber-rattling from both senior cabinet officials and Republican Senators. When asked by a reporter about the prospects about a war with Iran, President Donald Trump simply said: “I hope not.”
Over the past weekend, Trump doubled down on his threats to Iran with the following tweet:
If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
Watch above, via the AP.
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