And just like that it's over — war averted, apparently, as the Pentagon announced Tuesday US defense posturing and military build-up in the Persian Gulf has thwarted potential attacks an Americans.
Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Iran was forced to “put on hold” plans to harm American troops and their allies in the region:
“I think our steps were very prudent and we’ve put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans and that is what is extremely important,” Shanahan told reporters at the Pentagon, though without giving specifics.
He added that Iran was ultimately forced to "recalculate" its aggression.
Since John Bolton's May 5th statements citing "credible intelligence" of a heightened Iran threat which supposedly put US troops in the cross hairs there's been next to nothing in terms of actual details.
Instead the past two weeks has witnessed incessant blustering out of Washington, with daily threats that military action was looming against Iran.
And now with zero evidence that Iran was readying an attack, the Pentagon is essentially declaring victory following statements by Trump that he is not willing to escalate, but instead telling Iran's leaders to "call me".
During Shanahan's press briefing he still underscored "the credibility of the intelligence" and called US deployment of a carrier strike group and B-52 bombers "very prudent". Through these measures, he claimed, "we have put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans and that’s what’s extremely important."
“I’d say we’re in a period where the threat remains high and our job is to make sure that there is no miscalculation by the Iranians,” Shanahan added.
“I just hope Iran is listening. We’re in the region to address many things, but it is not to go to war with Iran,” the Defense Secretary said.
Previously Trump warned Monday that he was ready to use “great force” if Iran harmed American interests in the region. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also made statements saying it was "quite possible" Iran had sabotaged four oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz last week, which actually appeared to be a softening of expectations the White House would come out and directly blame Iran.