TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – US Defense Secretary James Mattis disputed a news report that Washington is preparing military action against Iran, calling it “fiction.”
Australian outlet ABC News published an article Thursday saying the United States could initiate a missile strike against Iran as early as next month.
“I have no idea where the Australian news people got that information,” Mattis told reporters, The Hill reported.
“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 also denied the report, which cites unnamed Australian officials.
"It's speculation," Turnbull said, according to The Straits Times. "It is citing anonymous sources."
The report came the same week that US President Trump tweeted a threat to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal in May. The Obama-era agreement, which involves other countries, had lifted sanctions against Iran in exchange for the country abandoning its nuclear program.