The U.S.’ chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commenting on threats coming from Iran, explained that around late April 2019, “we saw something that looked more like a campaign, than individual threats”, adding that “the geographic span and the possibility these activities would be synchronized caused us to look at that threat differently than 40 years … of malign activity by the Iranians”. He further revealed that Washington had dispatched a message to Tehran cautioning that "there was not an opportunity for them to do things and then claim it was not attributable to Iran. We wanted to mitigate the risk of miscalculation". Referring to the deployment of 1,500 troops and defensive capabilities to the Middle East, Dunford clarified that “this is not intended to be a provocation, this is not intended to reinforce our offensive capability in the region, this is designed to protect our people much like the previous force elements were sent in to enhance our deterrence”.
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