White House May Have Sought Options to Strike Iran

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

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

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.

"It definitely rattled people", recalled a former senior US administration official.

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

"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", he said, according to the paper. The three mortars, however, landed in an open lot and nobody was harmed in the attack.

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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".

State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo did not comment on the story when asked about it by reporters and a State Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Relations between Iran and the US have become more confrontational since Trump's election and his May 2018 decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal and reimpose severe economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In speech in September, Bolton sent a stark warning to Tehran that there would be "hell to pay" if the country threatened America or its allies.

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