White House reviews military plans against Iran amid Rouhani’s calls for unity against US pressure

According to a New York Time’s report, Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan to President Donald Trump’s administration, where he proposes sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran was to attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons.

By Sohaila Barghash

The plan reflects revisions ordered by Iran hawks including national security adviser John Bolton, the newspaper said.

However, on Tuesday, President Donald Trump denied the report’s claims saying, “I think it’s fake news, OK? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully, we’re not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”

Ever since Trump pulled out of the 2015 international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear activities, tensions between Iran and the US increased, even more after the Trump administration re-imposed strict sanctions on Tehran.

President Hassan Rouhani has recently called for unity among Iran’s political factions in effort to overcome the pressure brought on the country by US sanctions, which Rouhani said, may bring conditions that are harder than those during the 1980s war with Iraq.

Meanwhile, Trump urged Iran’s leaders to allow talks between both governments about giving up their nuclear program.

Moreover, Trump wants to force Tehran to agree to a broader arms control accord, that is why he sent an aircraft carrier, and B-52 bombers to the Gulf in a show of force against what US officials consider threats to US troops in the region.

The commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards has said that the United States started a “psychological warfare” in the region, adding that Iran would not allow its oil exports to be halted.

This month alone, Trump has increased economic and military pressure on Iran, cutting off all Iranian oil exports.


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