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Report: White House Requested Plans from Pentagon to Attack Iran

Report: White House Requested Plans from Pentagon to Attack Iran

Monday, 14 January, 2019 - 06:15
FILE PHOTO: The White House is awash with early morning sun. REUTERS
Washington - Heba El Koudsy
The White House's National Security Council asked the Pentagon last year for plans to launch a military attack against Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing current and former US officials.

The request from the council, which is led by national security adviser John Bolton, came after an attack in September on the US Embassy in Baghdad by Iran-backed militias, the Journal said on Sunday.

Mortars were fired into the diplomatic quarter in Baghdad, which is home to the US embassy. Two days later, militants fired rockets that hit close to the US consulate in the southern city of Basra.

According to the paper, Mira Ricardel, the former deputy national security adviser, described the attacks in Iraq as "an act of war," and said that the US needed to respond accordingly.

The request was met with concern by both the Pentagon and the State Department, according to the Journal, with one former administration official telling the paper that people were "shocked" by the request.

According to The Journal, it is unknown whether President Donald Trump had knowledge of the request.

Although the Pentagon obeyed the request by the council, the report said, it is unknown whether or not the plans for striking Iran were ever fully developed or even provided to the White House.

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."

"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," the statement added.

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