U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper asserted that “the message needs to be loud and clear to the Iranians that if they threaten our warships, our commanders have the right of self-defence, and we will execute that right... they need to be mindful of how they conduct themselves and they need to conduct themselves professionally”. He further noted that “we are looking at modifications to our practices to make sure that Iranians know that they need to stay clear of our warships and of our personnel and we are not going to tolerate threatening behaviour”. In related remarks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that “this administration behaves totally different than the previous one… [President Trump] has told the Iranian regime enough, we’re not going to permit this, we’re going to defend our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen and Marines. I think the Iranians understand that as well”.
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