13 Jan 2019 at 07:30 ET
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According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, President Donald Trump’s White House — led by national security adviser John Bolton — requested options from the Pentagon to launch an attack on Iran in September of last year.
According to the report, the request — which reportedly “rattled” Pentagon and State Department officials — followed a mortar attack on into Baghdad’s diplomatic district, home to the U.S. Embassy.
The report states, “As part of the talks, Mr. Trump’s National Security Council, led by John Bolton, asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran. The request, which hasn’t been previously reported, generated concern at the Pentagon and State Department, current and former U.S. officials say.”
“It definitely rattled people,” recalled a former senior U.S. administration official. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”
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.”
The report goes on to state that it is not known whether Trump was aware of the request.