US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said today (Saturday) at the security conference in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, that the United States would defend itself, its allies in the Middle East, and its interests against Iran's attacks in the region. On the US nuclear deal "will examine all options" to defend itself.
Austin noted that next week negotiations would resume in Vienna on a return to the nuclear deal. He said the US would return with goodwill to goodwill talks but stressed that Iran's moves were not particularly encouraging.
"The United States is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons," Austin said. "We are committed to a diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue. But if Iran is not willing to negotiate seriously we will look at all the options to protect the US. "If Iran returns with sensible positions, we will be able to resolve the dispute and return to the nuclear agreement."