Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan Asserts Pentagon Policy on Iran Is ‘Deterrence, Not War’
May 22, 2019 (EIRNS)—Following a closed-door session with members of Congress, yesterday, on policy toward Iran, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters that the U.S. priority is not to go to war with Iran, and that recent military actions in Southwest Asia were intended to serve as deterrence. Also present at the meeting were Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.
According to the Washington Examiner, Shanahan stressed, “Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation. We do not want the situation to escalate.” Associated Press quoted him as saying that recent military deployments to Southwest Asia have given Iran “time to recalculate,” and as a result, “We have put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans.... I just hope Iran is listening. We’re in the region to address many things, but it is not to go to war with Iran.... There haven’t been any attacks on Americans. I would consider that a hold,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that the threats that we’ve previously identified have gone away. 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.”
Little has been reported on statements by Pompeo and Dunford. Dunford reportedly cancelled a trip to Europe to be present at the briefing.