White House asked for options to strike Iran

Arturo Kim
January 16, 2019

The report states, "As part of the talks, Mr. Trump's National Security Council, led by John Bolton, asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran". 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. Two days later, militants fired rockets that hit close to the United States consulate in the southern city of Basra. What worries the Pentagon is that Iran is capable of hitting US facilities throughout the Middle East.

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. But the move did alarm some top-level leaders at the Pentagon and US diplomats at State Department, the Journal reported.

They were also under the impression that Iran was behind the unrest in Basra, the report added. The Journal also said that it is unknown whether President Donald Trump had knowledge of the request.

Bolton, an avid proponent of the Iraq invasion during the George W. Bush administration, has long taken one of the hardest lines against Iran in Washington and has openly supported the idea of regime change in Tehran.

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Later Sunday, Defense Department spokesman Col. Rob Manning told CNN that the department "is a planning organization and provides the President military options for a variety of threats; routinely reviewing and updating plans and activities to deal with a host of threats, including those posed by Iran, to deter and, if necessary, to respond to aggression".

Bolton worked previous year to quickly pull the US out of former President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with the country and to tighten economic sanctions on Tehran, moves eagerly sought by Trump.

Pompeo said on Friday that the summit, to be held in Warsaw on 13-14 February, would focus on stability and security in the Middle East, including on the "important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilising influence".

The agreement was aimed at preventing Iran developing nuclear weapons.

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