White House sought military strike against Iran

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Official White House policy does not call for regime change in Iran, and Bolton has said he would implement the President's agenda.

The request alarmed the Pentagon and State Department, the Journal reported, but the Pentagon complied with the request and developed the options.

An unnamed "former senior USA administration official" said the request "definitely rattled people".

The White House's national security team asked the Pentagon to provide it with options for striking Iran, after a group aligned with Tehran fired mortars in September into an area in Baghdad that is home to the United States embassy, a U.S. newspaper reported.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that following a mortar attack on the US 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.

The request to the Pentagon came from U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, and it is unknown if Bolton had conversed with the President prior to making the request.

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The decision was prompted by three mortars being fired into a diplomatic quarter in Baghdad in September, the newspaper said. No one was harmed by the explosions, which landed in a vacant lot, and there was little media attention given the relative frequency of such attacks on Green Zone.

The US blamed Iran for the attack, despite Tehran's categorical denial.

'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'.

There's no doubt that we could do plenty of damage to Iran if we chose to strike.

In it, he said: "To Iranian President Rouhani: never, ever, threatens the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before".

Tehran is also believed to be unhappy at comments made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he branded Mr Rouhani's regime a "mafia".

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