White House Requested Military Options to Attack Iran, Rattling Officials

14 January, 2019, 07:39 | Author: Wade Massey
  • White House national Security Advisor John Bolton listens as U.S. President Donald Trump

The request, which could lead to direct military confrontation between Iran and the United States, raised concern in the Pentagon.

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

President Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, asked the Pentagon last fall to develop military options for a strike against Iran following a mortar attack in Baghdad by a Tehran-backed militant group.

The White House asked for military strike options against Iran a year ago in a request that startled the Pentagon and the State Department. "People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran", former U.S. high-ranking official told The WSJ. The three mortars, however, landed in an open lot and nobody was harmed in the attack.

In a statement provided to CNN on Sunday, Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the council, said that it "coordinates policy and provides the President with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats".

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While the Pentagon complied with National Security Council's request, it was not clear whether Mr Trump knew of the request or whether plans to strike Iran were seriously considered, the Journal reported.

Prior to his appointment, he has often urged for military action against the nation, and has since worked to pull the U.S. out of the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran with the support of President Trump.

On Sunday, Iran's foreign ministry summoned a senior Polish diplomat in protest at Poland jointly hosting a global summit with the USA focused on the Middle East, particularly Iran, state news agency IRNA reported.

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

That policy could change if Iran continues to threaten its neighbors in the region. What worries the Pentagon is that Iran is capable of hitting USA facilities throughout the Middle East.

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