DOD claims it has deterred Iranian attacks on USA forces

Sec Def Shanahan: Threat for Potential Attacks by Iran ‘Remains High’

Sec Def Shanahan: Threat for Potential Attacks by Iran ‘Remains High’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top Trump administration officials are briefing Congress behind closed doors about the situation in Iran.

"We're in a period where the threat remains high and our job is to make sure that there is no miscalculation by the Iranians", Shanahan said.

These peace-keeping gestures presumably include sending a navy strike group to Iran's border, ratcheting up crippling sanctions and President Donald Trump's amiable threat to end the country altogether. In this year's poll, Democrats and Republicans were both more likely to see Iran as a threat and to say war was likely.

It was unclear exactly what Shanahan meant and Pentagon officials could not immediately clarify whether the threat from Iran had been diminished.

Lawmakers are warning the Trump administration it can not take the country into war without approval from Congress, and the back-to-back briefings show the wariness among Democrats, and some Republicans, over the White House's sudden policy shifts in the Middle East.

The competing closed-door sessions come after weeks of escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf that have raised alarms over a possible military confrontation with Iran.

House Democrats have received a closed-door briefing on Iran from former CIA Director John Brennan and former State Department official Wendy Sherman, who negotiated the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump said while there are no talks with Iran he still wants to hear from them, "if they're ready".

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said he wants answers on "what the administration's strategy is - if they have one - to keep us out of war".

Washington's peace-oriented threats towards Iran have paid off - at least according to Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who says that the Islamic Republic had to "put on hold" its violent plans thanks to United States efforts.

Shanahan tells reporters that the military moves by the United States have given Iran "time to recalculate" and as a result the potential for attacks on Americans is "on hold".

Shanahan said he's confident they have deterred attacks against American forces "based on our reposturing of assets". "I would consider that a hold", Shanahan told reporters. The briefings are another indication of wariness by Democrats and some Republicans over the White House's sudden policy shifts in the Middle East. Trump recently called Iran "hostile" and repeatedly has warned it against attacking the U.S. or its interests in the Middle East, threatening that it would be "the official end of Iran", as Washington would respond to aggressive moves with "great force".

Almost half - 49% - of all Americans disapprove of how Republican Trump is handling relations with Iran, the poll found, with 31% saying they strongly disapprove.