National Security Council asked Pentagon for military options to strike Iran, report says


(JTA) — The National Security Council asked the Pentagon last year to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran.

The request, first reported in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, generated concern at the Pentagon and State Department. The article cited unnamed current and former U.S. officials.

The request by President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, came after a group aligned with Iran fired mortars at the diplomatic quarter in Baghdad near the U.S. Embassy, which caused little damage and no injuries.

The Pentagon complied with the NSC’s request to develop options for striking Iran, the officials told the newspaper. It is not clear whether the proposals were provided to the White House and whether security officials designed a serious plan for a U.S. strike against Iran.

Bolton’s request reflects the Trump administration’s more confrontational approach toward Tehran, according to the Journal.

During a trip to Israel earlier this month, Bolton suggested that Trump was willing to strike Iran if he thought it was close to developing a nuclear weapon.

In addition to the request on Iran, the NSC asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with options to respond with strikes in Iraq and Syria as well, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the talks.

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