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

White House Requested Set of Options to Hit Iran

White House Requested Set of Options to Hit Iran

The US considered military strikes on Iran after a mortar attack close to its embassy in Baghdad in September, American officials said yesterday.

An unnamed "former senior US administration official" said the request "definitely rattled people".

The White House demanded that the military draft plans for strikes on Iran after attacks in Iraq previous year, sparking concern at the Pentagon and State Department, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. 'People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran'.

What was known until now was that Mr Bolton's National Security Council also asked the military to present the White House with options for striking Iran as a way of countering Tehran's influence in the region. The decision to seek options striking Iran was prompted by an incident in September in which three mortars were fired into a diplomatic quarter in Baghdad, the newspaper said.

Pentagon officials stressed that it was not unusual for the Defense Department to draw up military plans for the White House.

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

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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".

The National Security Council asking for military strike options against the Middle Eastern nation in response to relatively minor incidents has caused some former USA officials to express alarm.

Bolton, well-known for his past cries to attack Iran, has made clear to other administration officials "that he personally supports regime change in Iran", the Journal reported.

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.

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. The Iranians could do plenty of damage to us if they chose to retaliate.

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