Bolton asked Pentagon to develop military options for strike against Iran


Pentagon officials ‘rattled’ by Trump White House request for military options to attack Iran: report

The Wall Street Journal quoted a former senior USA administration official saying of the NSC's request for military options regarding Iran, "People were shocked".

But they triggered unusual alarm in Washington, where Mr. Trump's national security team led by John Bolton conducted a series of meetings to discuss a forceful American response, including what many saw as the unusual request for options to strike Iran.

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.

A senior administration official told CNN on Sunday that it's not accurate to say the Pentagon and State Department were caught off guard by the request, but would not confirm any other details from the Journal's report.

The request came after mortars were launched by militants, affiliated with Iran, towards the United States embassy in Baghdad.

In a statement provided to CNN on Sunday, Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the council, said that it "coordinates policy and provides the President with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats".

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The explosives reportedly landed in an abandoned lot adjacent to U.S. Embassy and resulted in no casualties, the Journal reported, adding that he Basra attacks did not affect the consulate operations.

The Pentagon is said to have followed through on the order from the White House.

Before joining the Trump administration, Bolton argued repeatedly that the United States should attack Iran and had supported regime change in the country.

While Bolton's approach has seen him butt heads with a number of people in Trump's Cabinet - most notably former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis - he has found an ally in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The Journal reports, "Former U.S. officials said it was unnerving that the National Security Council asked for far-reaching military options to strike Iran in response to attacks that caused little damage and no injuries". The Iranians could do plenty of damage to us if they chose to retaliate.

The agreement was aimed at preventing Iran developing nuclear weapons.

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