White House sought military strike against Iran

Lamar Ellis
January 14, 2019

It isn't clear whether the information compiled by the Pentagon was relayed to the White House or whether Trump was aware of the request, the newspaper said.

In early September, an Iraqi militia with ties to Iran launched mortars towards the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's diplomatic district. The newspaper reported that the request sparked deep concern among Pentagon and State Department officials.

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 US strike against Iran took shape at that time.

But the White House National Security Council (NSC) sought to develop a forceful American response to the low-scale attack, including options for a strike against the Islamic republic, the Journal reported.

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". The three mortars, however, landed in an open lot and nobody was harmed in the attack.

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"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.

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.

He has worked with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in implementing a more hardline approach to Iran since taking office.

On Sunday, Iran's foreign ministry summoned a senior Polish diplomat in protest at Poland jointly hosting a global summit with the USA focused on the Middle East, particularly Iran, state news agency IRNA reported.

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

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