White House asked for options to strike Iran

Report White House ordered shocking request for potential attack on Iran

Report White House ordered shocking request for potential attack on Iran

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that following a mortar attack on the US embassy in Baghdad in September that was blamed on Iran, National Security Adviser John Bolton asked the Pentagon for options to strike the Islamic Republic.

The Pentagon reportedly complied with the request, but it is not clear whether the plans for striking Iran were fully developed, or if President Donald Trump knew about it. The shells-launched by a group aligned with Iran-landed in an open lot and harmed no one. Two days later however, amid ongoing protests in the southern city of Basra, unknown militants fired several rockets towards the U.S. consulate building. Washington blamed the attacks on Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units, which Washington alleges has close ties with Tehran.

A National Security Council spokesman told the newspaper the council "coordinates policy and provides the president with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats".

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.

He penned a 2015 New York Times opinion piece prior to his current role titled "To stop Iran's bomb, bomb Iran".

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".

Before joining the Trump administration, Bolton argued repeatedly that the United States should attack Iran and had supported regime change in the country.

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While Bolton's approach has seen him butt heads with a number of people in Trump's Cabinet - most notably former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis - he has found an ally in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "If they're responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we're going to go to the source".

According to the paper, Mira Ricardel, the former deputy national security adviser, described the attacks in Iraq as "an act of war", and said that the United States needed to respond accordingly.

In one NSC meeting, then deputy national security advisor Mira Ricardel called the attacks in Iraq an "act of war" and called for a decisive U.S. response.

That policy could change if Iran continues to threaten its neighbors in the region.

There's no doubt that we could do plenty of damage to Iran if we chose to strike. What worries the Pentagon is that Iran is capable of hitting US facilities throughout the Middle East.

Poland's charge d'affaires was told that Iran saw the decision to host the meeting as a "hostile act against Iran" and was warned that Tehran could reciprocate, IRNA added.

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