White House sought military options against Iran last year: report

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — The White House National Security Council (NSC) last year asked U.S. Department of Defense to provide military options to strike Iran, according to a U.S. media report on Sunday.

The NSC request resulted from a mortar attack in Baghdad last September when militants aligned with Iran fired mortars into an area home to the U.S. embassy, reported Wall Street Journal, citing current and former U.S. officials.

This request, which many saw as unusual, raised deep concern at the Pentagon and the State Department.

“It was unnerving that the NSC asked for far-reaching military options to strike Iran in response to attacks that caused little damage and no injuries,” said the report citing former U.S. officials.

The officials also said the Pentagon complied with the NCS request, but it was uncertain if the proposals were provided to the White House, according to the report.

Washington withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May last year and re-imposed batches of sanctions on Tehran.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeatedly underscored the “Iran threat” during his ongoing trip to the Middle East, calling upon regional allies to jointly counter Iran’s action in the region.

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