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    U.S. Commander Says Mideast Buildup Forced Iran to ‘Step Back’

    Alex Wong/Getty

    The top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East says Iran has decided to “step back and recalculate” after gearing up for an apparent onslaught against U.S. forces stationed in the Persian Gulf. But Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie told reporters late Thursday that Iran still poses a threat. “I don’t actually believe the threat has diminished,” he said, noting that he’s still prepared to request additional forces if needed. “I believe the threat is very real.” The Trump administration has repeatedly warned of a growing threat from Iran in recent weeks, and President Trump has authorized sending additional troops to the Middle East to deter any aggression from Iran. Tensions between the countries have deteriorated since Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and other world powers, and consequently lobbied sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation.