Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

White House asked Pentagon for Iran strike plans

A US Navy F-35 fighter jet during a test flight A US Navy F-35 fighter jet during a test flight
Ellis Copeland | 14 January, 2019, 18:41

The attack that reportedly prompted Bolton to seek retaliation involved three mortars fired into Baghdad's sprawling diplomatic quarter, home to the U.S. Embassy.

The request was met with concern by both the Pentagon and the State Department, according to the Journal, with one former administration official telling the paper that people were "shocked" by the request.

In addition, two rockets were fired toward the secure compound of the U.S. Consulate in city of Basra, in southwest Iraq.

The White House asked for military strike options against Iran a year ago in a request that startled the Pentagon and the State Department.

The source said while no one had been injured in the attack, the White House was angered by the military attack on Iran in September previous year.

The request alarmed the Pentagon and State Department, the Journal reported, but the Pentagon complied with the request and developed the options.

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

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Later in the month, US National Security Adviser John Bolton issued a stark public warning to Tehran: "There will be hell to pay" if Iran continued to "cross" the US and its allies.

He has worked with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in implementing a more hardline approach to Iran since taking office.

NSC spokesman Garrett Marquis, said the NSC does the same and it will continue to consider "the full range of options" after the attacks.

The National Security Council asking for military strike options against the Middle Eastern nation in response to relatively minor incidents has caused some former United States officials to express alarm. "If they're responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we're going to go to the source".

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.

Pompeo told Fox News that dozens of countries would attend the summit which would aim to "build out the global coalition" opposed to Iranian policies in the region.

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