12:42 GMT05 December 2020
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    US authorities on 7 December detained six Saudi citizens for questioning following a mass shooting at a US naval base in Florida, Fox News reported.

    US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper stated in an interview with Fox News on Sunday that Washington would take precautions to ensure the safety of military bases and review screening procedures for foreigners on exchange programmes.

    He continued on by saying that he does not know if the Saudi national specifically targeted Americans at Pensacola base.

    The statement follows another comment by Esper where he said that the Pentagon would examine the vetting procedures of foreign students going to the US to train with the military. He stressed that the Pentagon was reviewing measures to ensure the proper selection and vetting of foreign students going to the US.

    On 6 December, a Saudi national, identified by US media as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a cadet in a US Navy flight training programme, opened fire at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three people and injuring another eight before being gunned down by police officers.

    US Will Deter Iranian Behaviour as Needed

    The US secretary of defence further elaborated that Washington would deter Iranian behaviour as needed.

    In recent days, the US has sent mixed signals regarding a reported deployment of 14,000 troops to the Persian Gulf as a means of increasing pressure on Iran. The US has sought to apply maximum pressure on Iran, primarily through severe sanctions.

    In 2018, Washington withdrew from the JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, unilaterally and imposed economic sanctions on Tehran. In May 2019, Iran gave an ultimatum to the other signatories — either they attempt to relieve the economic blockade or Tehran would begin gradually dropping its commitments under the deal every 60 days.

    sanctions, Iran, safety, shooting, Military Base, Florida, US
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