White House explored navy strike on Iran, rattling Pentagon and State Department

WASHINGTON — On a heat evening in early September, militants fired three mortars into Baghdad’s sprawling diplomatic quarter, home to the U.S. Embassy.

The shells — launched by a gaggle aligned with Iran — landed in an open lot, harming nobody. But they triggered uncommon alarm in Washington, the place President Donald Trump’s nationwide security team performed a collection of conferences to debate a forceful American response.

As a part of the talks, Trump’s National Security Council, led by John Bolton, requested the Pentagon to offer the White House with navy choices to strike Iran. The request, which hasn’t been beforehand reported, generated concern on the Pentagon and State Department, current and former U.S. officials say. “It positively rattled individuals,” stated one former senior U.S. administration official. “People had been shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they had been about hitting Iran.”

Read: Iran exploring new uranium enrichment that could void 2015 nuclear deal

The Pentagon complied with the National Security Council’s request to develop choices for putting Iran, the officials stated. But it isn’t clear if the proposals had been offered to the White House, whether or not Trump knew of the request or whether or not critical plans for a U.S. strike against Iran took form at the moment. Bolton’s request displays the administration’s extra confrontational strategy towards Tehran, one which he has pushed since taking up the put up final April.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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