Trump says Iran provocations will be met with 'great force'

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn as he leaves the White House in Washington, Monday, May 20, 2019, to attend a campaign rally in Montoursville, Pa. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is threatening to meet provocations by Iran with "great force," but says he's also willing to negotiate.

Trump spoke to reporters as he left the White House Monday evening en route to a rally in Pennsylvania.

He says, "If they do something it will be met great force."

But he adds, "We have no indication that they will."

Still, he is not mincing his words, calling Iran "hostile" and the "No. 1 provocateur of terror."

The administration recently sent an aircraft carrier and other military resources to the Persian Gulf region, and withdrew nonessential personnel from Iraq, raising alarms over the possibility of a confrontation with Iran.

Trump had been downplaying the chances of potential conflict in recent days.

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