White House asked for options to strike Iran, reports WSJ

White House national Security Advisor John Bolton listens as U.S. President Donald Trump

The Pentagon has agreed to lay out options for hitting Iran at the request by US National Security Adviser John Bolton, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a former senior presidential administration employee. The Journal also said that it is unknown whether President Donald Trump had knowledge of the request.

"It definitely rattled people", a former senior United States administration official told the Journal".

The report said the move came after a mortar attack launched by an Iran-linked group on the Baghdad diplomatic quarters home to the United States embassy in September. The decision to seek options striking Iran was prompted by an incident in September in which three mortars were fired into a diplomatic quarter in Baghdad, the newspaper said.

The shells landed in an open lot and no one was hurt.

"The Department of Defense is a planning organization and provides the president military options for a variety of threats", Colonel Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, told AFP.

Prior to his appointment, he has often urged for military action against the nation, and has since worked to pull the USA out of the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran with the support of President Trump.

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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".

'We continue to review the status of our personnel following attempted attacks on our embassy in Baghdad and our Basra Consulate, ' Marquis continued, 'and we will consider a full range of options to preserve their safety and our interests'.

The Journal reports, "Former U.S. officials said it was unnerving that the National Security Council asked for far-reaching military options to strike Iran in response to attacks that caused little damage and no injuries".

In the same month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also stated the US was willing to target Iran for the actions of its allies in Iraq.

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

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