Published: Wed, January 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

White House Asked For Options To Strike Iran

White House Asked For Options To Strike Iran

Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton led the approach to the Pentagon, which compiled options, the newspaper reported.

The Pentagon regularly prepares all kinds of military options for all kinds of scenarios, many of which are not imminent at all, but this request reportedly rattled the war planners.

The Times did acknowledge a spokesman for the National Security Council, Garrett Marquis, pointing out that Bolton's job entailed the kind of actions Bolton took, saying, "The N.S.C. coordinates policy and provides the president with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats". The newspaper reported that the request sparked deep concern among Pentagon and State Department officials.

The US blamed Iran-aligned militants for the incident, although there were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.

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The Journal, citing conversations with people familiar with the request to the council, also reported that the council requested options for launching strikes at both Iraq and Syria when they made the request for Iran. Bolton also told CNN that month that the USA would hold Iran responsible for the actions of militias in Iraq, Iran's close ally.

But according to Ned Price, former special assistant to President Obama on the National Security Council, Bolton's response to an attack on the United States represents standard operating procedure.

The Defense Department did draw up the plans, but it is unclear if they were presented to the White House, or if the president knew of Bolton's request, according to the Journal. "It was insane, how bluntly they talked about an attack on Iran". In fact, he pulled out of the nuclear deal that the world signed with the Iran back in May of previous year, angering key European allies, while calling the deal "decaying and rotten" and "an embarrassment" to him "as a citizen".

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".

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