June 18, 2019 / 8:18 PM / in a month

Trump says U.S. is 'very prepared' with regard to Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs the White House on travel to Orlando, Florida from the White House in Washington, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States was very prepared with regard to Iran, as tensions ramped up after attacks on several oil tankers and Tehran’s announcement it would step up uranium enrichment.

“We’re very prepared for Iran. We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters.

On Monday, the United States announced it would deploy about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East, citing concerns about a threat from Iran.

U.S. officials have blamed Iran for attacks last week on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and attacks on four tankers in May off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Iran has denied any involvement.

“If you look at what they’ve done. And I’m not just talking about over the last week. I’m talking about over a long period of years. They’ve been a nation of terror,” Trump said.

Iran said on Monday it would soon breach limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile under a 2015 nuclear agreement.

Trump withdrew the United States from deal last year and imposed sanctions on Iran.

In an interview with Time magazine published on Tuesday, Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, but left open whether he would back the use of force to protect oil supplies in the Gulf.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Richard Chang

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