The Trump administration has ordered another 1,000 troops to the Middle East for what acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan says are "defensive purposes." He cited fears of an increased threat from Iran following the latest attacks on shipping in the region, the Guardian reports. "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," Shanahan said in a statement Monday. The New York Times reports that tensions rose further Monday after Iran said that it will breach the 2015 nuclear deal within 10 days if European nations fail to help it deal with the impact of US sanctions.
In what US officials described as "nuclear blackmail," Iran said it would breach limits on how much enriched uranium it is allowed to keep, Reuters reports. In response to the American troop deployment, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the country "will not wage war against any nation." In a speech broadcast on state television, he said: "Those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience. Despite all of the Americans’ efforts in the region and their desire to cut off our ties with all of the world and their desire to keep Iran secluded, they have been unsuccessful." The deployment of 1,000 US troops follows the deployment of another 1,500 last month. (Read more Iran stories.)