President Trump approves additional deployment to Persian Gulf to counter Iran
President Donald Trump has given his approval to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to deploy additional military resources to the Persian Gulf region to deter Iranian threats, according to a senior US official.
The new deployment includes Patriot missile batteries, reconnaissance aircraft and accompanying necessary forces to provide further deterrence against a rising Iranian threat against US troops in the region.
Earlier in the day, Patrick Shanahan told reporters at the Pentagon that reports of specific numbers of troops being proposed were inaccurate. “There is no 10,000 and there is no 5,000,” he said while acknowledging he has been in discussions with U.S. Central Command head Gen. Frank McKenzie about ways to increase protection for U.S. forces in the region, which “may involve sending additional troops.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that at the meeting, the White House agreed to send up to 3,000 additional troops initially, with discussions underway for more to support submarines, planes, drones, and anti-missile batteries.
The Trump administration is also considering using a pre-existing rule that would allow it to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Tehran’s regional foe, as part of its effort to counter Iran, according to two US officials.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that Tehran will not surrender to US pressure and will not give up on its goals even if it is bombed, stepping up the war of words between the Islamic Republic and the United States.
Iranian trucks carrying S-300 air defense systems were seen heading towards Asaluyeh, in the southern coastal province of Bushehr.
Bushehr is the site of Iran’s main nuclear reactor.