US Pentagon developed plans to strike Iran, Wall Street Journal reports

National Security Advisor John Bolton reportedly called for the battle plans to be drafted in the wake of the mortar attack on the embassy in Baghdad in September, the Journal reported.

Two days later, unidentified fighters fired three rockets that hit close to the USA consulate in the southern city of Basra but caused no serious damage.

The White House asked for military strike options against Iran previous year in a request that startled the Pentagon and the State Department.

The request, which could lead to direct military confrontation between Iran and the United States, raised concern in the Pentagon.

NSC spokesman Garrett Marquis, said in a statement on Sunday: "The NSC coordinates policy and provides the president with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats" and that it will continue to consider "the full range of options" after the attacks. According to the Wall Street Journal, the request was made after several shells landed in Baghdad's green zone, near the U.S. embassy last September. "It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran".

While the Pentagon complied with National Security Council's request, it was not clear whether Mr Trump knew of the request or whether plans to strike Iran were seriously considered, the Journal reported.

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Relations between Tehran and Washington are highly fraught following Trump's decision in May to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and to reimpose sanctions, including on Iran's vital oil sector.

Bolton, a hawk who previously served as ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, has been vocal about his support for a regime change in Tehran and the report of the military options against Iran highlight the more confrontational approach toward the Islamic Republic the administration has taken since he took the post at the NSC in April.

The State Department did not comment on the report. The Iranians could do plenty of damage to us if they chose to retaliate.

The Pentagon did agree to come up with options to attack Iran.

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

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