Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

White House asked for Iran attack options

White House asked for Iran attack options

"It definitely rattled people", recalled a former senior USA administration official. 'People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran'. According to the Wall Street Journal, the request was made after several shells landed in Baghdad's green zone, near the USA embassy last September. A second attack by an unknown group two days later targeted the United States consulate in Basra.

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

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

Relations between Iran and the US have become more confrontational since Trump's election and his May 2018 decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal and reimpose severe economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

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.

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"Iran will be held accountable for those incidents", he said in a 21 September interview with CNN. The Iranians could do plenty of damage to us if they chose to retaliate.

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 United States response.

Official White House policy does not call for regime change in Iran, and Bolton has said he would implement the President's agenda. The range and accuracy of Iran's missiles are constantly improving - largely because the world refuses to take a stand against their illegal development of ICBMs.

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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