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White House asked for options to strike Iran
14 January 2019, 06:40 | Darnell Patrick
Pentagon officials ‘rattled’ by Trump White House request for military options to attack Iran: report
'People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran'.
Although the Pentagon obeyed the request by the council, the Journal reported, it is unknown whether or not the plans for striking Iran were ever fully developed or even provided to the White House.
In a statement provided to CNN on Sunday, Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the council, said that it "coordinates policy and provides the President with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats".
Bolton made the request after three mortars were fired into Baghdad's diplomatic zone - where the US embassy is located - by Iran-affiliated militants, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"It definitely rattled people", a former senior White House official told The Wall Street Journal, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The militant assault on the diplomatic quarter by a Shiite group aligned with Iran landed in an empty lot with no casualties reported.
Former US officials said it was unnerving that the NSC asked for such far-reaching military options in response to attacks that caused little damage and no injuries. He penned a 2015 New York Times opinion piece prior to his current role titled "To stop Iran's bomb, bomb Iran". "Any attack by Shia militias against US should be treated as an attack from Iran".
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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.
"They're going to be held accountable", Pompeo replied.
While no one was wounded in the incident, it angered the US.
"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.
There's no doubt that we could do plenty of damage to Iran if we chose to strike.
Poland's charge d'affaires was told that Iran saw the decision to host the meeting as a "hostile act against Iran" and was warned that Tehran could reciprocate, IRNA added.
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