US South Iranian threats 'put on hold'- United States Defence Chief

Last Updated: May 22 2019 18:05
Reading time: 1 min, 21 secs

Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan said that the potential of attacks by Iran has been "put on hold" by US counter-measures.

The United States has cautioned of a threat from Iran in recent weeks and Shanahan briefed lawmakers at a closed-door meeting.

Tension has risen sharply, with the US deploying military assets to the Gulf to tackle the unspecified threats.

On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted: "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran."

He has maintained a strong anti-Iran policy since taking office and last year unilaterally withdrew the US from a nuclear deal with Iran and five world powers.

President Trump's National Security Adviser, John Bolton, is a long-standing advocate for regime change in Iran and has previously called for the US to bomb the nation.

Speaking to reporters, he said the US "posture is for deterrence" rather than war.

Shanahan, who addressed lawmakers alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen Joseph Dunford, said: "I think our steps were very prudent and we've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans and that's what's extremely important."

"I'd say we're in a period where the threat remains high and our job is to make sure that there is no miscalculation by the Iranians."

He did not publicly share details of the "credible information" related to the issue but added: "I just hope Iran is listening. We're in the region to address many things, but it's not to go to war with Iran."

"In my opinion, there wasn't any information there that pointed to any reason why we should be engaging in talk of war with Iran," said Representative Ruben Gallego.