MANAMA- US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday the United States would maintain a wide array of military forces in the Middle East to ensure security in the volatile region despite diplomatic overtures toward Iran over its nuclear program.
Hagel, in prepared remarks to the Manama Dialogue security forum in Bahrain, said the Pentagon had no plan to adjust its military presence or planning in the region as a result of an interim accord on Tehran's nuclear enrichment program.
The Pentagon chief, seeking to reassure the wary Gulf Arab leaders about Washington's intentions, said even as diplomacy moves forward, US security guarantees will be backed by a fierce array of aircraft, ships, tanks, artillery and 35,000 troops.
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