US proceeding with plan for coalition to deter Iran threats

FILE - In this May 1, 2019, file photo, Joint Chie...

FILE - In this May 1, 2019, file photo, Joint Chie...

FORT MYER, Virginia (AP) — The top U.S. military officer says Washington will move ahead with plans to build a coalition of nations to monitor and deter Iranian threats against shipping in the Persian Gulf and in a heavy trafficked waterway between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pentagon has developed a specific plan, and he believes that in a couple of weeks it will be clear which nations are willing to join the effort.

Dunford said he discussed the matter Tuesday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the acting secretary of defense, Mark Esper.

The initiative was triggered last month by Trump administration concerns that Iran was behind recent attacks on commercial ships in the Persian Gulf region.