Friday, 26 April, 2019

Bolton asked Pentagon to develop military options for strike against Iran

Pentagon officials ‘rattled’ by Trump White House request for military options to attack Iran: report White House Requested Military Options to Attack Iran, Rattling Officials
Leonard Rios | 16 January, 2019, 22:25

Citing the lack of casualties and limited damage that resulted from the September 6 mortar attack, the USA officials whom the Journal spoke to said Bolton's request for a far-reaching military response was jarring.

The Council made the move after an Iranian-aligned group fired missiles into Baghdad's diplomatic quarter, which hosts the USA embassy in Iraq.

The mortars landed in an empty lot, and no injuries were reported. Two days later, unidentified militants fired three rockets that hit close to the U.S. Consulate in the southern city of Basra but caused no serious damage.

The Pentagon and National Security Council said they provide the president with options for a variety of threats.

"It definitely rattled people", a former senior United States administration official told the Journal".

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

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Tensions have been escalating between the USA and Iran after Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal a year ago, and re-imposed sanctions in a bid to rein in its missile program and influence in the region.

Washington withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May a year ago and re-imposed batches of sanctions on Tehran.

According to the publication, it remains unclear whether President Donald Trump himself knew about the request, whether the Pentagon ultimately delivered military options to the White House, and if concrete attack plans against the Islamic Republic were actually formulated.

"Iran will be held accountable for those incidents", he said in a 21 September interview with CNN.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis, along with other members of the military cautioned against retaliating, according to the Times, which wrote, "Mr. Bolton does not want to hear opposing views, these officials said, abhors leaks and wants to control everything that flows to the president. On each stop of his Middle East trip, Mr. Pompeo, a former Army officer, has spoken of the need to counter Iran, but has not talked of military action".

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