Thursday, 17 January, 2019

White House Requested Military Options to Attack Iran, Rattling Officials

Melinda Barton | 14 January, 2019, 18:43

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

The Pentagon reportedly complied with the request, but it is not clear whether the plans for striking Iran were fully developed, or if President Donald Trump knew about it.

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".

"People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran", former United States high-ranking official told The WSJ. Two days later, several rockets also hit an area close to the USA consulate in Basra.

The report said the move came after a mortar attack launched by an Iran-linked group on the Baghdad diplomatic quarters home to the USA embassy in September. The shells-launched by a group aligned with Iran-landed in an open lot and harmed no one.

In the same month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also stated the US was willing to target Iran for the actions of its allies in Iraq.

Citing the lack of casualties and limited damage that resulted from the September 6 mortar attack, the US officials whom the Journal spoke to said Bolton's request for a far-reaching military response was jarring.

He said the Pentagon's activities include "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".

"The United States will hold the regime accountable for any attack that results in the injury to our personnel or damage to United States' government facilities" the White House said.

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.

The agreement was aimed at preventing Iran developing nuclear weapons. The Iranians could do plenty of damage to us if they chose to retaliate.