Trump Deploys More Troops to the Middle East

Sanders Jett-Folk | United States

Amid increasing tensions with Iran, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced that 1,500 additional United States troops will be sent to the Middle East. Shanahan remarked in a statement that the extra forces are being sent to combat the “ongoing threat posed by Iranian forces.”

The Ongoing Threat

The decision to send more troops comes only days after President Donald Trump stated there would be no need for more troops.

“I don’t think we’re going to need them. I really don’t,” he told reporters. “I would certainly send troops if we need them.”

In his statement, Shanahan stated that Congress has been notified of the deployment of more troops.

Outside of the White House on Friday, President Trump assured reporters that the extra troops would be “mostly protective.” He downplayed the possibility of conflict escalating any further. “Right now, I don’t think Iran wants to fight and I certainly don’t think they want to fight with us,” he stated.

Increasing Tensions With Iran

In recent years, the tension between the United States and Iran has been constantly increasing. The two nations have had no formal diplomatic ties following the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution that occurred in 1980.

Since 1995, the United States has held an embargo on trade with Iran. In 2015, the United States, under the leadership of then President Barack Obama, came to an agreement that intended to dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons program. When Iran held their end of the deal, the United States lifted sanctions on Iran in 2016. However, in 2018, President Trump ended the deal and reimposed Iran’s sanctions.

Last month, six months of exemptions for countries still buying oil from Iran came to an end. Oil is the main source of Iran’s revenue. The United States is attempting to deny Iran this revenue both by not purchasing oil from them and by preventing other countries from purchasing oil from them. The nation’s oil exports have been halved as a result of sanctions against them.

Iran continues to slide into an economic recession as a result of US sanctions against the nation. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Iran’s economy to shrink by 6% by the end of 2019.

The cause behind recent tensions with Iran is the deployment of Iranian missiles in the region. Four oil vessels later reported acts of sabotage against their ships, two of which belonged to Saudi Arabia.


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