Washington, May 14: The United States is considering to dispatch 120,000 troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran, said a report citing a recent meeting held between top defence establishment officials. The plan is being reportedly reviewed by the White House. If approved, this would be the largest deployment of American forces in the Gulf since the 2003 Iraq war.
The meeting of defence officials was headed by National Security Advisor John Bolton, and included Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, reported the New York Times. Iran to Face Conditions Worse Than 1980 Iraq War, Says Hassan Rouhani Amid 'Threat Posed by US'
The number of troops considered to be sent to the Middle East has "shocked" officials who have been briefed so far, the leading US daily said, adding that the White House is contemplating over the plan.
Bolton has underlined that the deployment is necessitated due to the risk posed by Iran to American defence facilities in the Middle East, along with its existing soldiers serving in parts of Iraq and Syria.
Though America is underlining on "self-defence" so far, experts are of the view that the Trump regime is furthering its "psychological war" against Tehran. The intention is to coerce Iran to comply with the 2015 nuclear deal.
In case Iran walks out of the pact, all options are on the table, including a military strike on the nation, said a Pentagon spokesperson.
Reports of the heavy military deployment comes days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appealed the country to remain "united", claiming that they could face a situation worse than 1980-88 Iraq war in the days to come.
The Rouhani regime has announced its gradual withdrawal from the nuclear deal, almost a year after the US said it would no longer remain a signatory to the pact sealed under former President Barack Obama's leadership.
Pentagon said it could move "beyond sanctions" if Iran decides to "go above 20% purity enrichment" -- which was the crux of the nuclear deal with P 5+1 nations.