Published: Sun, January 13, 2019

White House Requested Set of Options to Hit Iran

White House Requested Set of Options to Hit Iran

The White House's National Security Council asked the Pentagon past year for plans for launching a military attack against Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported early Sunday, citing current and former U.S. officials.

The request to the Pentagon came from U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, and it is unknown if Bolton had conversed with the President prior to making the request.

"It definitely rattled people", a former senior White House official told The Wall Street Journal, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

In early September, an Iraqi militia with ties to Iran launched mortars towards the USA embassy in Baghdad's diplomatic district.

The Journal, citing conversations with people familiar with the talks, also reported that the council requested options for launching strikes at both Iraq and Syria when they made the request for Iran.

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. The shells - launched by a group aligned with Iran - landed in an open lot and harmed no one.


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".

Mr Trump earlier a year ago announced his decision to pull his country out of the Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action (JPCOA) agreement aimed at preventing Iran developing nuclear weapons.

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.

"They're going to be held accountable", Pompeo replied.

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.

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