Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

White House asked Pentagon for options to strike Iran

White House asked Pentagon for options to strike Iran

Officials said the Pentagon did develop options for striking at Iran, but it was not clear if the White House, or President Trump himself, received or knew about the request, or if a serious strategy was being considered.

In early September, an Iraqi militia with ties to Iran launched mortars towards the United States embassy in Baghdad's diplomatic district.

"It definitely rattled people", a former senior White House official told The Wall Street Journal, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The White House's National Security Council asked the Pentagon a year ago for plans for launching a military attack against Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported early Sunday, citing current and former United States officials.

But they triggered unusual alarm in Washington, where Mr. Trump's national security team led by John Bolton conducted a series of meetings to discuss a forceful American response, including what many saw as the unusual request for options to strike Iran. "People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran".

The decision to consider striking Iran was prompted by an incident in early September, in which three mortars were fired into a diplomatic quarter in Baghdad.

The shells landed in an open lot and no one was hurt.

Official White House policy does not call for regime change in Iran, and Bolton has said he would implement the President's agenda.

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".

Later in the month, US National Security Adviser John Bolton issued a stark public warning to Tehran: "There will be hell to pay" if Iran continued to "cross" the US and its allies.

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".

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

Like this: