White House sought military strike against Iran

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2019

While it is unclear if the proposals were eventually sent to the White House or if the president knew of the plans, Bolton's request anxious many in the Pentagon and the State Department concerned with the more hawkish approach toward Tehran.

The US blamed Tehran despite the Iranian administration denying the attack, which saw three mortar shells land in Baghdad's diplomatic quarter and close to the US Embassy last September.

Last year, Bolton quickly pulled the USA out of the nuclear-containment deal brokered during the Obama administration and tightened economic sanctions against Iran - moves that were championed on the campaign trail in 2016 by then-candidate Trump. It isn't clear whether the information compiled by the Pentagon was relayed to the White House or whether Trump was aware of the request, the newspaper said.

"It definitely rattled people", a former senior USA administration official said of the request.

"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.

Speaking to an audience of anti-Tehran activists, the longtime Iran hawk said: "The murderous regime and its supporters will face significant consequences if they do not change their behaviour".

The explosives reportedly landed in an abandoned lot adjacent to U.S. Embassy and resulted in no casualties, the Journal reported, adding that he Basra attacks did not affect the consulate operations.

In September, Bolton, who worked hard on the withdrawal from the treaty, warned Tehran that there would be "hell to pay" if Iran threatened the USA or its allies.

The State Department did not comment on the report.

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

The agreement was aimed at preventing Iran developing nuclear weapons. "If they're responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we're going to go to the source".

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