New Delhi: The White House said that US President Donald Trump has nominated Mark Esper to be the US Secretary of Defense. The development comes hours after Trump revealed he had come close to authorising a strike on Iran.

Esper was named acting Pentagon chief after Patrick Shanahan’s resignation, who is stepping down following media reports emerged this week of domestic violence in his family.

Last year in December, James Mattis, who batted for strong Indo-US military ties, had resigned as Defence Secretary, citing irreconcilable policy differences with Donald Trump after the US President shocked the Pentagon by deciding to withdraw American troops from strife-torn Syria

In a letter to the president, Mattis had said that he should choose a person who is more in tune with his world view.