WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has ordered 1,000 more troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran.
Acting US defence secretary Patrick Shanahan said the Pentagon was deploying the forces for defensive purposes to address air, naval and ground-based threats in the Middle East.
The move followed a decision last month to send 1,500 troops to the region because of unspecified threats from Iran.
Trump had previously warned Iran of severe consequences if the Islamic Republic targeted US forces. Shanahan said the deployment of additional troops was to protect American personnel in the area.
On Monday, the White House accused Iran of engaging in nuclear blackmail after Tehran said it would soon breach part of the nuclear deal the Obama administration — along with the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China — signed with the Islamic Republic.
The US comments came after Iran said it would soon exceed limits on its enriched uranium stockpile agreed in the 2015 agreement.
Iran warned that the development would happen within 10 days, sparking concern in Europe that the deal would collapse as the US continued its campaign of maximum pressure against Iran.