Bolton Asked Pentagon About Bombing Iran

The US embassy in Baghdad Iraq seen from across the Tigris river

The US embassy in Baghdad Iraq seen from across the Tigris river

Later in the month, US National Security Adviser John Bolton issued a stark public warning to Tehran: "There will be hell to pay" if Iran continued to "cross" the US and its allies.

Now, through a report just published by the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz and The Wall Street Journal, a former White House official who worked under the Trump Administration says that the White House had asked the Pentagon for a military plan to attack Iran back in September of past year.

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.

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The request was made after militants in Iraq aligned with Iran fired mortars at Baghdad's diplomatic district, which includes the U.S. Embassy, the report said.

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".

NSC spokesman Garrett Marquis, said the NSC does the same and it will continue to consider "the full range of options" after the attacks. The three mortars, however, landed in an open lot and nobody was harmed in the attack.

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The Pentagon complied with the National Security Council's request to develop options for striking Iran, the officials said.

Mr Trump earlier past 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.

While Bolton's approach has seen him butt heads with a number of people in Trump's Cabinet - most notably former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis - he has found an ally in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The Pentagon did agree to come up with options to attack Iran.

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

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