US sending 1,000 more troops to Mideast for ‘defensive purposes’ amid tensions with Iran

Press TV – The United States has approved deployment of some 1,000 more soldiers to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran.

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan made the announcement on Monday, asserting that the deployment had “defensive purposes.”

He pointed to baseless allegations that Iran is behind attacks against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, to justify the measure.

“I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” claimed the Pentagon acting chief in a statement.”The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region.”

Tehran has time and against said that it does not seek military confrontations with the United States, yet stands ready to defend its interests in the region.

The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said earlier in the day that the country would surpass the uranium stockpile limit set under the nuclear deal from June 27.

White House National Security Council spokesman described the move as “nuclear blackmail.”

Last month, Iran scaled back some commitments under the deal and warned that in 60 days it would resume refining uranium to a higher fissile degree if Europe failed to shield its trade from US illegal sanctions.