White House asked for options to strike Iran after Baghdad attack

Nellie Chapman
January 14, 2019

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.

While it is unclear if the proposals were eventually sent to the White House or if the president knew of the plans, Bolton's request anxious many in the Pentagon and the State Department concerned with the more hawkish approach toward Tehran. "It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran".

The newspaper based its report on anonymous current and former US officials. It is also not totally clear, says the Journal, whether President Donald Trump was even aware of the request made by his national security adviser.

National Security Advisor John Bolton reportedly called for the battle plans to be drafted in the wake of the mortar attack on the embassy in Baghdad in September, the Journal reported. According to the Wall Street Journal, the request was made after several shells landed in Baghdad's green zone, near the USA embassy last September.

Garrett Marquis, speaking for the National Security Council responded to the report by stating it 'coordinates policy and provides the president with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats'.

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Mnuchin said the firms would face consequences including the reimposition of sanctions if they failed to comply with the terms. Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

A spokesman for the National Security Council was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, however, as saying: "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".

Relations between Iran and the USA 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. "Any attack by Shia militias against US should be treated as an attack from Iran".

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 State Department did not comment on the report.

The agreement was aimed at preventing Iran developing nuclear weapons.

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