White House May Have Sought Options to Strike Iran

Leroy Wright
January 14, 2019

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 Wall Street Journal also reported that it was not clear whether the options were provided to the White House, whether President Donald Trump knew of the request or whether serious plans for a US strike against Iran took shape at that time.

"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.

The report said the move came after a mortar attack launched by an Iran-linked group on the Baghdad diplomatic quarters home to the United States embassy in September.

The militant assault on the diplomatic quarter by a Shiite group aligned with Iran landed in an empty lot with no casualties reported.

"People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran", former U.S. high-ranking official told The WSJ. In 2015, while working for a think tank, he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times titled "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran". The US blamed Iran for the attack, despite Tehran's categorical denial.

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He has worked with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in implementing a more hardline approach to Iran since taking office. The Iranians could do plenty of damage to us if they chose to retaliate.

In one meeting, Bolton's then deputy Mira Ricardel, who was forced out of her job in November after a feud with First Lady Melania Trump, described the attacks in Iraq as "an act of war" and said the U.S. had to respond decisively, according to one person familiar with the meeting.

"We continue to review the status of our personnel following attempted attacks on our embassy in Baghdad and our Basra consulate, and we will consider a full range of options to preserve their safety and our interests", Garrett Marquis said.

There's no doubt that we could do plenty of damage to Iran if we chose to strike.

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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