Military Action Explored Against Iran After September Baghdad Mortar Attack

14 January, 2019, 07:40 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • The US embassy in Baghdad Iraq seen from across the Tigris river

The newspaper reported that the request sparked deep concern among Pentagon and State Department officials. But it isn't clear if the proposals were provided to the White House, whether Mr. Trump knew of the request or whether serious plans for a US strike against Iran took shape at that time.

President Donald Trump's National Security Council, led by National Security Adviser John Bolton, asked the Pentagon to develop options for a military strike against Iran previous year, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday citing unnamed current and former USA officials.

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.

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.

The decision to consider striking Iran was prompted by an incident in early September, in which three mortars were fired into a diplomatic quarter in Baghdad.

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

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Maduro has meanwhile threatened "diplomatic measures" against his regional detractors if they refuse to recognise his re-election. He accuses foreign governments including Latin American nations of seeking to overthrow him.

In September, Bolton, who worked hard on the withdrawal from the treaty, warned Tehran that there would be "hell to pay" if Iran threatened the U.S. or its allies.

The National Security Council asking for military strike options against the Middle Eastern nation in response to relatively minor incidents has caused some former U.S. officials to express alarm.

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.

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.

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.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have risen significantly ever since Donald Trump's election as President.

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