U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the top U.S. military commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, Admiral William Fallon, is resigning at the end of the month, amid reports he differed with President Bush over policy on Iran.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Gates said Fallon asked him for permission to retire, and Gates agreed.
But Gates added that there were no significant differences on Iran between Fallon and the Bush administration.
A recent article in Esquire magazine portrayed Admiral Fallon as opposed to President Bush's policies on Iran, particularly on the possibility of military action to stop Iran's nuclear program.
Gates described as "ridiculous" the notion that Fallon's resignation signals the Bush administration is preparing to go to war with Iran.
A statement released from the White House Tuesday afternoon says Admiral Fallon served his country with distinction.