Thursday, 21 March, 2019

White House asked for options to strike Iran

White House national Security Advisor John Bolton listens as U.S. President Donald Trump Pentagon officials ‘rattled’ by Trump White House request for military options to attack Iran: report
Jeannette Daniel | 14 January, 2019, 07:39

The request came after mortars were launched by militants, affiliated with Iran, towards the United States embassy in Baghdad.

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.

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 Department of Defense is a planning organization and provides the president military options for a variety of threats", Colonel Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, told AFP. No one was harmed by the explosions, which landed in a vacant lot, and there was little media attention given the relative frequency of such attacks on Green Zone.

Prior to his appointment, he has often urged for military action against the nation, and has since worked to pull the United States out of the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran with the support of President Trump. 'People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran'.

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

State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo did not comment on the story when asked about it by reporters and a State Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

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.

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

"We continue to review the status of our personnel following attempted attacks on our embassy in Baghdad and our Basra consulate, and we will consider a full range of options to preserve their safety and our interests", Garrett Marquis said. The Iranians could do plenty of damage to us if they chose to retaliate.

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