Bolton asked Pentagon to develop military options for strike against Iran

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

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

The mortar attack targeted Baghdad's diplomatic quarter, which is home to the U.S. Embassy.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that following a mortar attack on the USA embassy in Baghdad in September that was blamed on Iran, National Security Adviser John Bolton asked the Pentagon for options to strike the Islamic Republic.

Citing current and former USA officials.

The White House in Washington, US, November 6, 2018.

"It definitely rattled people", one former senior USA administration official told the WSJ.

The White House asked for military strike options against Iran past year in a request that startled the Pentagon and the State Department. According to the Wall Street Journal, the request was made after several shells landed in Baghdad's green zone, near the USA embassy last September. Two days later however, amid ongoing protests in the southern city of Basra, unknown militants fired several rockets towards the United States consulate building.

The Defense Department did draw up the plans, but it is unclear if they were presented to the White House, or if the president knew of Bolton's request, according to the Journal.

He added: "Sometimes it seems the world has become desensitised to the regime's authoritarianism at home and its campaigns of violence overseas, but the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government's many abuses".

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".

"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", a spokesperson for the NSC said.

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.

The Pentagon complied with the National Security Council's request to develop options for striking Iran, the officials said.

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