The Hill reports:
Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday disputed a report that the U.S. is preparing a strike against Iran, calling it “fiction.” ABC News had previously reported, citing Australian officials, that the U.S. could launch missile strikes against Iran as soon as next month.
“I have no idea where the Australian news people got that information,” Mattis told reporters. “I’m confident it is not something that’s being considered right now, and I think it’s a complete – frankly, it’s – it’s fiction.” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull similarly denied the report on Friday, saying it is “speculation.”
From that ABC Australia report:
ABC has been told Australian defence facilities would likely play a role in identifying targets in Iran, as would British intelligence agencies. But a senior security source emphasised there was a big difference between providing accurate intelligence and analysis on Iran’s facilities and being part of a “kinetic” mission.
“Developing a picture is very different to actually participating in a strike,” the source said. “Providing intelligence and understanding as to what is happening on the ground so that the Government and allied governments are fully informed to make decisions is different to active targeting.”
Trump all-caps “YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES” threat against Iran is one of his most-liked tweets of all time.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018