11:31 GMT29 November 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States would be better off in its confrontation with Iran to have a secretary of defence who has been confirmed by the Senate rather than a temporary acting official as is the case, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.


    “I do think we’re better to have a confirmed secretary of defence,” McConnell said. “I do think we’d be better off to have a secretary of defence that was actually confirmed by the Senate.”

    McConnell made the remarks after President Donald Trump announced that he has nominated Army Secretary Mark Esper to take over the Pentagon after Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan withdrew from the nomination process.

    Earlier, NBC News reported citing sources that Secretary of the Army Mark Esper has been discussed as a possible replacement as defence secretary to Shanahan if Trump decides not to nominate him.

    Shanahan took the role of the Secretary of Defence after former Pentagon chief James Mattis resigned in December 2018. 

    Relations between Iran and the United States deteriorated after US President Donald Trump, a vocal opponent of the Iranian nuclear deal, decided to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May 2018. The decision has been condemned by other signatories of the nuclear deal, namely China, France, Germany, Iran, the European Union, Russia and the United Kingdom.


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    Mitch McConnell, US Senate, iran, United States
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