Bolton Asked Pentagon About Bombing Iran

U.S. sought options to strike Iran in September- media

The US blamed Iran for the attack, despite Tehran's categorical denial.

President Donald Trump's national security team asked the Pentagon past year for "options to strike Iran", the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified USA officials.

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.

"It definitely rattled people", one former senior United States administration official told the WSJ.

He added: "Sometimes it seems the world has become desensitised to the regime's authoritarianism at home and its campaigns of violence overseas, but the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government's many abuses".

The decision to seek options striking Iran was prompted by an incident in September in which three mortars were fired into a diplomatic quarter in Baghdad, the newspaper said. No one was harmed by the explosions, which landed in a vacant lot, and there was little media attention given the relative frequency of such attacks on Green Zone.

"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", a spokesperson for the NSC said. The Pentagon did agree to come up with options to attack Iran.

Mr Trump earlier previous year announced his decision to pull his country out of the Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action (JPCOA) agreement aimed at preventing Iran developing nuclear weapons.

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.

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".

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