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US Maintains Military Presence in Gulf Region, May Use Force if Needed

© AFP 2023 / MANDEL NGAN US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter - Sputnik International
US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter says US continues to have a sizeable military presence in the Persian Gulf region amid the Iran deal reached in Vienna on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States continues to have a sizeable military presence in the Persian Gulf region amid the Iran deal reached in Vienna on Tuesday, and is prepared to use military force if necessary, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter stated in a release.

“Our military — including tens of thousands of US forces in the Middle East — are full speed ahead maintaining a strong presence in the Gulf,” Carter said. “We will utilize the military option if necessary.”

Carter called the Iran agreement verifiable, but stressed that deterrence remains a vital part of US national security.

“We remain prepared and postured to bolster the security of our friends and allies in the region, including Israel; to defend against aggression; ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf; and check Iranian malign influence,” he explained.

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Earlier on Tuesday, the White House announced that Carter will travel to Israel next week to discuss security cooperation and reassure the Israeli government of the US commitment to support Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu has in the past repeatedly expressed strong disagreement with reaching an agreement with Iran, calling it a very bad deal.

Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have also raised concerns over the implications of an agreement on regional security.

On Tuesday, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany – announced a final comprehensive agreement on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions' relief.

According to the final text of the nuclear agreement, Iran will under no circumstances seek to develop or acquire a nuclear weapon. The text also claims the final deal will positively contribute to regional Middle Eastern security.

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