The United States must have the capability to respond to any Iranian attack on US interests, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday.
He spoke at the Florida headquarters of US Central Command, which oversees US forces in the Middle East, a day after the US said it was sending another 1,000 troops to the region in response to what it called hostile behavior by Tehran.
That deployment should “convince the Islamic government of Iran that we are serious and to deter them from further aggression in the region,” Pompeo said.
He added that his visit to Tampa was designed to “achieve the strategic objectives” set forth by President Donald Trump.
“But we can’t do that without making sure we have the capability to respond if Iran makes a bad decision” and opts to “go after an American, or an American interest, or to continue to proliferate its nuclear weapons program,” said Pompeo.
He insisted “President Trump does not want war.”
The United States has blamed Iran for last week’s attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, an accusation Tehran denies as baseless.
The Pentagon released new images on Monday that it said showed Iran was behind the attack on one of the ships.
Last month four ships including three oil tankers were attacked off the United Arab Emirates. The US blamed Iran, which denied responsibility.
In May of last year Trump withdrew the US from the multiparty accord under which Iran agreed to curtail its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Trump reinstated tough economic sanctions in an effort to force Iran to negotiate a new agreement.
Pompeo said Tuesday this campaign of maximum pressure is proving to be “very effective,” although other countries fear the heightened tensions could lead to armed conflict.
‘They have a responsibility to not be stupid’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe slaps Trump’s ‘ignorant’ rally-goers for swallowing Trump lies
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough blamed President Donald Trump's supporters for failing their most basic civic responsibility by remaining willfully ignorant and swallowing his lies.
The president claimed his betrayal of the Kurds was actually keeping them safe, despite credible reports of war crimes against them by Turkey, and the "Morning Joe" host challenged rally-goers to open their eyes -- and believe what they see.
"It's the responsibility to people that show up at those rallies to not be stupid, to not be so stupid that they should be kept away from blenders," Scarborough said. "All they have to do is spend three seconds actually watching the news, all they have to do is spend three seconds on Google, spend three seconds talking to somebody that is not completely brainwashed to see that this is a horrible deal for the Kurds."
‘This was the smoking gun!’ MSNBC’s Morning Joe explains why Mulvaney ‘confession’ could end Trump presidency
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had offered "smoking gun" evidence in a stunning confession to the crime at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
The "Morning Joe" host said Mulvaney had made a stunning "confession," but he said the president had on the same day endorsed the ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish allies he had betrayed to Turkey.
"There's so much to talk about, we joke for a few minutes at the top of the show, Mika likes do that, me, I like to get straight into the news," said Scarborough, who frequently annoys his wife and co-host by bantering about sports at the start of the show. "But there's so much going on that if somebody just woke up this morning they might not think that yesterday was not one of the most significant news days in, during the Trump presidency, and I may even argue one of the most significant news days over perhaps the last decade, just in terms of volume."
Vote-splitting fears raised in final days of Canada election
In the dying days of what Justin Trudeau described as one of the "nastiest" election campaigns in Canadian history -- with plenty of mudslinging, attack ads and misinformation -- he played up fears on Thursday of vote-splitting handing victory to his rival Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.
Policy announcements gave way to calls to vote strategically to keep Trudeau's Liberals in power and prevent a rollback of his progressive policies by the Tories.
Pollsters predict a minority government -- either Liberal or Conservative -- resulting from the October 21 ballot.
Attack ads accused Liberals of seeking to legalize hard drugs and the Tories of allowing assault rifles on Canadian streets -- claims that are flat out wrong or exaggerated, respectively.