Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a press conference from Centcom at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida Tuesday afternoon. He answered a number of questions about increasing aggression from Iran.
"The purpose of my visit was to come down here and make sure the State Department and Department of Defense were deeply coordinated across a whole broad range of issues. We certainly discussed the ongoing tension in the Gulf but we talked about a much broader of issues," Pompeo said. "If we're to deliver at the State Department on the President's diplomatic objectives, we have to be tightly woven with our military."
“President Trump does not want war and we will continue to communicate that message while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region," Pompeo said. "It's been our mission since the beginning of this administration to convince the Iranian regime not to move forward with their nuclear program and not to continue to engage in development of missiles and all of the other malign activities they've been engaged in around the world. It's why we've put into place the pressure campaign that's now been ongoing for a year and a couple of months. It's been very effective and now we need to make sure we can continue to do that so that we ultimately get the opportunity to convince Iran that it's not in their best interest to behave this way."
Pompeo said while establishing deterrence is challenging, the Trump administration is up to the task.
Yesterday the U.S. Navy released photos showing Iranian boats removing an unexploded mine from a civlian tanker in the Gulf of Oman. It was also announced 1,000 U.S. troops will be sent to the region.
1 of 4: In response to @CENTCOM's request for add'l forces, & w/the advice of the Chairman @TheJointStaff & in consultation w/the @WhiteHouse, I have authorized approx 1,000 add’l troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, & ground-based threats in the Middle East.— Acting SecDef Pat Shanahan (@ActingSecDef) June 17, 2019
2 of 4: The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces & their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel & interests across the region.— Acting SecDef Pat Shanahan (@ActingSecDef) June 17, 2019
3 of 4: The United States does not seek conflict with Iran. The action today is being taken to ensure the safety & welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region & to protect our national interests.— Acting SecDef Pat Shanahan (@ActingSecDef) June 17, 2019
4 of 4: We will continue to monitor the situation diligently & make adjustments to force levels as necessary given intelligence reporting & credible threats.— Acting SecDef Pat Shanahan (@ActingSecDef) June 17, 2019