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Trump’s pick for top general plays down Iran war talk

A day after Iranian boats reportedly attempted to seize a British tanker in the Gulf, President Donald Trump’s pick to become the military’s top officer downplayed the potential for conflict with Tehran.
U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis - RC19027566C0

In the wake of months of tensions between the United States and Iran, President Donald Trump’s pick to serve as the Pentagon’s top military official downplayed the potential for conflict with Tehran in his confirmation today.

Gen. Mark Milley, currently the Army’s top officer, said in Senate testimony that Iran’s military activity in the Middle East has increased since Trump opted to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018; the United States has blamed Tehran for the shootdown of an American surveillance drone in June and attacks on Emirati, Norwegian and Japanese tankers.

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