Defense Secretary on Iran: Response at ‘time and place of our own choosing’

ABC News’ Martha Raddatz speaks with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the recent rocket attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.
2:54 | 03/06/21

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Transcript for Defense Secretary on Iran: Response at ‘time and place of our own choosing’
Tensions between the US and Iran have been playing out in Iraq. Short weeks now with US troops coming under fire and missile attacks or second time this week should today ABC news chief global affairs correspondent and this week co anchor Martha Raddatz spoke with Defense Secretary Lloyd on cinched in his first broadcast interview about the attacks and the US response. This week we saw a second significant attack with those ten rockets. Do you know who did it and what kind of responses might we expect. We want to make sure that. But again we understand who's responsible for this the message to those. That would carry out such judgment doctors. You know expect us to to do what's necessary to defend ourselves low strike. If we didn't give us what we think we need to do have a time and place of our own choosing. Has Iran been given the message that this is not. An escalation. When we retaliate. I think you're wrong news it is fully capable of assessing. You know destroyed Jim man not tied our our activities. And then they'll draw their own conclusions. But what they should draw from this again is that we're gonna defend. Our troops there werder and you know our our our our response will be thoughtful you'll be appropriate. And Martha Raddatz joins me now from Washington Martha this is clearly a delicate diplomatic bouncing acts of the Biden administration right now she and how to respond to Iran. Exactly Gregg Jensen delicate is the right word these are Ronnie and backed militias not only want the US out of the Middle East there are some factions that don't want Iran to renegotiate the nuclear deal with the new west. And the fear things tit for tacking a tax. Is it may escalate or that one side in the other over reacts by the secretary Austin told me he is keeping a close eye on all of that. And trying to find that balance juju. Martha this is just clearly one clip you at a wide ranging conversation with Austin is the first black Defense Secretary to lead the Pentagon. What are some of the other topics you touched them. We we talked about extremism in the military I have actually no general now secretary Austin for many many years. And I think the last time we did an interview together was in Iraq we talked about where we are in Iraq now how how do you go forward. But extremism and his historic. As a secretary defense it is historic is the first black secretary of defense he talked about that what that means to him. And the thing that really moved me is he said he does not want to be the last black secretary of defense juju. Clearly breaking barriers Raddatz thank you she you'd see much more of Martha's interview with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin this on the morning on this week.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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