The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits the Suez Canal. (Photo: VCG)
WASHINGTON, May 13 (Xinhua) -- A top US defense official had presented an updated military plan which envisions sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or speed up work on nuclear weapons, The New York Times reported on Monday.
The updated plan, presented by acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, was ordered by hardliners led by National Security Adviser John Bolton, reported the paper, citing anonymous sources.
The plan does not call for a land invasion of Iran, according to the report.
Over the recent weeks, Washington has ratcheted up pressure against Tehran with a series of sanctions, designations and military threats.
Shanahan agreed to send an amphibious transport dock and air defense system to the Middle East, Pentagon said in a statement on Friday. This deployment came days after the White House announcement of sending the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier group and bombers to the region.
In response, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week announced Tehran's withdrawal from complying with the restrictions of the Iran nuclear deal on the country's enriched uranium reserves and heavy water supplies.
The United States, under President Donald Trump, withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, which was endorsed by the United Nations Security and reached in 2015.