Friday, 19 July, 2019

White House asked for options to strike Iran

GettyImages-1012553378 Pentagon officials ‘rattled’ by Trump White House request for military options to attack Iran: report
Patty Aguilar | 14 January, 2019, 18:41

An unnamed "former senior US administration official" said the request "definitely rattled people".

Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton led the approach to the Pentagon, which compiled options, the newspaper reported.

The Journal, citing conversations with people familiar with the talks, also reported that the council requested options for launching strikes at both Iraq and Syria when they made the request for Iran.

The newspaper based its report on anonymous current and former US officials. A second attack by an unknown group two days later targeted the United States consulate in Basra.

The Defense Department did draw up the plans, but it is unclear if they were presented to the White House, or if the president knew of Bolton's request, according to the Journal.

Later Sunday, Defense Department spokesman Col. Rob Manning told CNN that the department "is a planning organization and provides the President military options for a variety of threats; routinely reviewing and updating plans and activities to deal with a host of threats, including those posed by Iran, to deter and, if necessary, to respond to aggression".

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Unnamed US officials told The Wall Street Journal that Mr Bolton's hawkish response to the September attack "rattled" the Pentagon and state department.

The militant assault on the diplomatic quarter by a Shiite group aligned with Iran landed in an empty lot with no casualties reported.

The Journal reports, "Former U.S. officials said it was unnerving that the National Security Council asked for far-reaching military options to strike Iran in response to attacks that caused little damage and no injuries".

As a think-tank scholar and Fox News commentator, Mr. Bolton repeatedly urged the U.S.to attack Iran, including in a 2015 New York Times op-ed titled, "To stop Iran's bomb, bomb Iran".

Asked about the report during his Middle East trip, USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo declined comment. "If they're responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we're going to go to the source".

There's no doubt that we could do plenty of damage to Iran if we chose to strike.

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