In NATO Debut, New Pentagon Chief Aims to ‘Internationalize' Iran Effort

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday he aimed to recruit support from NATO allies for U.S. efforts to deter conflict with Iran and "open the door to diplomacy," as he made his international debut as Pentagon chief.Esper emphasized diplomacy over military action as he briefed reporters for the first time since taking the helm of the U.S. military on Monday. The former Army secretary was thrust into the position after the surprise resignation of Patrick Shanahan as acting defense secretary the previous week.Ahead of talks with European defense ministers, Esper said he would tell allies that the United States was not seeking war with Iran.FILE - U.S. Secretary of the Army Mark Esper speaks during a House Armed Services Committee budget hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 2, 2019.His remarks came just days after U.S. President Donald Trump narrowly called off strikes against military targets in Iran over Tehran's downing of a U.S. drone. But Trump threatened on Tuesday to obliterate parts of Iran if it attacked "anything American.""We need to internationalize this issue and have our allies and partners work with us to get Iran to come back to the negotiating table," Esper said shortly before landing in Brussels, home to NATO headquarters.Washington's European allies, critical of Trump's decision to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, have reacted with alarm in recent weeks, repeatedly warning both sides of the danger that a small mistake could lead to war.U.S. officials said on Monday that the United States was building a coalition with its allies to protect Gulf shipping lanes following recent attacks on oil tankers that Washington blamed on Iran.But Esper suggested the plan was still in its early stages and played down the idea that U.S. allies would offer up the majority of... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, In NATO Debut, New Pentagon Chief Aims to ‘Internationalize' Iran Effort, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you In NATO Debut, New Pentagon Chief Aims to ‘Internationalize' Iran Effort





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 25 June



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