TOKYO — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday that the threat from Iran’s missile program does not currently require the realignment of U.S. forces in the Middle East, striking a note of restraint shortly after the White House issued a strong warning to Tehran.
Mattis, on a three-day visit to South Korea and Japan, echoed statements from the White House identifying Iran as a chief danger to U.S. security after a recent ballistic missile test.
On Thursday, Michael Flynn, President Trump’s national security adviser, told reporters that the new administration was “officially putting Iran on notice.” He provided no details on what that may mean.
But Mattis, a former commander of U.S. operations in the Middle East and a hawk on Iran, said the United States did not need to add military assets, potentially including additional troops or an aircraft carrier, to the region.
Mattis’ inaugural overseas trip is aimed at reassuring Asian allies concerned by Trump’s questioning of longstanding U.S. security alliances.
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Featured image courtesy of EPA.