The Pentagon presented Donald Trump’s National Security Advisers with a plan to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacked the US military or accelerate the development of its nuclear weapons program, reported Monday the New York Times.
According to the newspaper, citing unidentified sources of US administration, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan presented the plan last Thursday at a meeting attended by the National Security Advisor of the White House, John Bolton, and CIA Director Gina Haspel.
Reuters was unable to immediately confirm the information reported by the New York Times.
No comments could be obtained immediately from the White House. The Pentagon declined a request for comment.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased since Trump’s announcement last May of the withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 agreement on the Iranian nuclear program and the gradual reestablishment of economic sanctions against Iran.
The US president wants to force Tehran to accept a new agreement more closely regulating Iran’s nuclear and ballistic activities. He invited Iran last Thursday to the dialogue, without excluding an armed confrontation in view of the bilateral tensions.
Trump administration officials have reported increased “threats” to US interests in the Middle East. A carrier group and bombers were sent to the area to “dissuade” Tehran from any attack on US interests or those of their allies.
Iran denounced a “psychological war” launched by the United States and considered that the US military presence in the Gulf, which was previously a threat, was now a chance.