Tensions between Washington and Tehran came to a head after President Trump ordered warships and bombers to the Middle East earlier this month to counter unspecified threats to USA interests. It would come just two days after acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan declared Tuesday on Capitol Hill that the United States does not want the situation to escalate and does not seek a war.
The United States now has between 60,000 and 80,000 troops deployed in the area covered by CENTCOM, which includes the 14,000 now on duty in Afghanistan, 5,200 personnel in Iraq and less than 2,000 in Syria.
U.S. officials have confirmed that they will consider sending an extra 10,000 troops to the region.
"We have deterred attacks based on reposturing of assets - deterred attacks against American forces", Shanahan told reporters Tuesday after delivering a classified briefing to the full US Congress.
On Monday, an Iranian energy official announced the country has increased its uranium enrichment fourfold and informed the International Atomic Energy Agency. The military has already taken steps in recent weeks to boost its presence in the Middle East, the latest sign of mounting tensions between the Trump administration and Tehran.
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This latest discussion of additional forces is directly tied to the intelligence that Trump administration officials say they have had since early May that Iran was planning for a possible attack on United States forces and interests in the region - intelligence that has been contested by Democrats and undermined by the President himself.
Thursday's meeting comes as tensions with Iran continue to simmer, and it wasn't clear if a decision would be made during the session.
"We'll see what happens with Iran", Trump said.
"The threat is real", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday on Fox News. "We do not want the situation to escalate", he said.
Iran has time and again asserted that it is not seeking war but stands ready to defend its interests in the region.
US officials said the Iranian threat to USA forces continues even as Iran has pulled back some weapons systems. She said she finds numerous administration's recent statements on Iran to be "deeply troubling".