John Bolton is the National Security Advisor of the United States of America, and last year he directed Donald Trump’s National Security Council to explore options for a preemptive military operation that would attack the country of Iran. The Wall Street Journal reported this shocking new information in its Sunday edition.
“The National Security Council, led by John Bolton, last year sought options for military strikes in Iran, alarming the Pentagon and State Department.”
The National Security Council, led by John Bolton, last year sought options for military strikes in Iran, alarming the Pentagon and State Department. https://t.co/LZbeVHo0Cy
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 13, 2019
According to the Journal, Bolton made his request of the Security Council last September, after an Iranian-aligned group fired mortars near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
They reported that Bolton at that time directed the Pentagon to give him military options for striking Iran.
Presumably Bolton viewed the mortar strikes as sufficient provocation for a United States attack. He may even have viewed them as an attack on the U.S., such that it would be reasonable and expected that we would retaliate using military force.
The mortar attacks, however, did not hit the U.S. embassy or inflict any kind of injury on anybody.
According to the Journal, the Pentagon complied with Bolton’s request, but they don’t know if a serious plan for attacking Iran was actually developed. They also don’t know if President Trump was aware of Bolton’s request or the Pentagon’s response.
Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the National Security Council, responded to The Journal report by saying:
“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.”
Since taking office Trump and his administration have taken a very hardline approach to Iran, and as a result tensions between the two countries have increased significantly over the past two years.
Last year Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, which had been the result of years of complex negotiations involving many other countries. All of our international allies strongly advised Trump not to withdraw from the treaty which had placed limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Since withdrawing from the Iran deal the U.S. has put back in place many severe sanctions on Iran. Other countries in the deal, however, have remained committed to the nuclear pact.
A State Department official said in November that military action against Iran could be possible if sanctions against the country were not successful in stopping them from creating nuclear weapons that could be used to attack its enemies in the region such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.