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White House asked for options to strike Iran

14 January 2019

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 Wall Street Journal also reported that it was not clear whether the options were provided to the White House, whether President Donald Trump knew of the request or whether serious plans for a USA strike against Iran took shape at that time.

The mortar attack targeted Baghdad's diplomatic quarter, which is home to the U.S. Embassy.

Last year, Bolton quickly pulled the USA out of the nuclear-containment deal brokered during the Obama administration and tightened economic sanctions against Iran - moves that were championed on the campaign trail in 2016 by then-candidate Trump. No one was hurt by the shells, which landed in an open lot.

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.

Bolton, a hawk who previously served as ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, has been vocal about his support for a regime change in Tehran and the report of the military options against Iran highlight the more confrontational approach toward the Islamic Republic the administration has taken since he took the post at the NSC in April.

"Iran will be held accountable for those incidents", he said in a 21 September interview with CNN.

"Over the past few days, we have seen life-threatening attacks in Iraq, including on the United States consulate in Basra and against the American embassy compound in Baghdad", the White House said in a statement at the time.

There's no doubt that we could do plenty of damage to Iran if we chose to strike.

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. "If they're responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we're going to go to the source".

Poland's charge d'affaires was told that Iran saw the decision to host the meeting as a "hostile act against Iran" and was warned that Tehran could reciprocate, IRNA added.

White House asked for options to strike Iran