When asked if he would consider sending American troops to counter Iran in the Middle East during a Thursday press conference, President Donald Trump told reporters he will do so "if we need them."
"I would certainly send troops if we need them," Trump said. "Iran has been a very dangerous player, a very bad player, they're a nation of terror. And we won't put up with it."
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Trump also said that he did not think the United States would have to send troops to the Middle East. He criticized former President Barack Obama's signature Iran nuclear deal as a "horror show," which made America's relationship with the oppressive state even more difficult.
"It's a terrible deal," Trump said. "The minute I collapsed that deal and terminated it, Iran went in a very bad direction. They're now suffering massive problems financially. They have inflation that is about the highest in the world."
Trump told the media that he was meeting today before discussing further how to deal with Iran, saying that the country has been "in very bad shape" since he took office in 2017.
"I've been to many different meetings where every single problem caused in the Middle East and maybe beyond … was caused by Iran," Trump said. "They were behind every single—we had 14 different attacks at one point. They were behind every attack. So we'll see what happens with Iran. No, I don't think we need it, but if we need it, we'll be there in whatever number we need."
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated in recent weeks, as Iran has threatened U.S. allies in the Middle East. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that if Iran continues to oppose American interests in the region, the U.S. will act.
"We've made clear that we will not allow Iran to hide behind its proxy forces," Pompeo said Tuesday on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. "But if American interests are attacked, whether by Iran directly or through its proxy forces, we will respond in an appropriate way against Iran."