DOD: Iranian Threats ‘Put on Hold’ Thanks to U.S.

Mairead McArdle

The Department of Defense said Tuesday that potential threats from Iran have been “put on hold” thanks to precautionary measures taken by the U.S.

“We have put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans,” Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan said at the Pentagon.

The U.S. deployed four B-52 bombers, Patriot air-defense missiles, and the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier-strike group to the Persian Gulf earlier this month amid fears that Iran was transporting short-range ballistic missiles in the region. Shanahan cited “indications of a credible threat by Iranian regime forces” in justifying the move.

The State Department last week ordered all non-critical government employees to leave Iraq, saying the tensions with neighboring Iran could endanger Americans in the area. Additionally, a rocket was fired Sunday night which landed less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, and no casualties occurred.

“There haven’t been any attacks on Americans,” Shanahan confirmed. “That doesn’t mean that the threats that we’ve previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region.”

“I just hope Iran is listening,” Shanahan added, vowing that any attack by Iran on U.S. assets “will be met obviously with great force.”

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