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Pentagon Chief Says Military Options Remain Against Iran

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has told U.S. lawmakers that the recently signed nuclear agreement with Iran would not limit U.S. ability to respond with military force if needed.

"If Iran were to commit aggression, our robust force posture ensures we can rapidly surge an overwhelming array of forces into the region, leveraging our most advanced capabilities, married with sophisticated munitions that put no target out of reach," Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 29.

Carter was joined by Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, who were also testifying before the committee.

Dempsey said that while the nuclear deal did prevent Iran from producing an atomic weapon, it did not address other concerns about Tehran's malign activities in the region.

Congress has until September 17 to review the deal, which aims to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from international economic sanctions.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa