CBS News national security correspondent David Martin says the U.S. military build-up, which would include adding a second aircraft carrier to the one already in the Gulf, is being proposed as a response to what U.S. officials view as an increasingly provocative Iranian leadership.
Recent Iranian naval exercises, support for Shiite militias in Iraq, and Tehran's allegedly peaceful nuclear enrichment program — which U.S. intelligence believes is designed to produce a bomb — have all lead to the planned changes, Martin reports.
Military officers say the build-up would take place after the first of the year, not with the aim of actually attacking Iran, but strictly as a deterent.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that U.N. sanctions would not stop the Islamic republic from enriching uranium.
The United States and its European allies are seeking sanctions against Iran because of its refusal to stop uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel for civilian purposes or fuel for a nuclear bomb.
A draft U.N. resolution would order all countries to ban the supply of specified materials and technology to Iran that could contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programs. It also would impose a travel ban and asset freeze on key companies and individuals in the country's nuclear and missile programs who are named on a U.N. list.
"A nation whose youth have been able to achieve the nuclear fuel cycle with empty hands — rest assured that it will be able to capture other peaks of (progress)," Ahmadinejad told a large crowd in the western city of Kermanshah.
The hardline president spoke a day after election results indicated his allies in last week's local council elections, an apparent sign of voter discontent with his policies.
Ahmadinejad, however, has had success in gaining support among Iranian citizens by emphasizing the struggle with the West over the country's nuclear program, a source of Iranian pride.