Trump sought options for attacking Iran last week: official

Donald Trump has spent all four years of his presidency engaging in an aggressive policy against...
Donald Trump has spent all four years of his presidency engaging in an aggressive policy against Iran. Photo: Reuters
President Donald Trump asked for options on attacking Iran's main nuclear site last week but ultimately decided against taking the dramatic step, a US official says.

Trump made the request during a meeting on Thursday with his top national security aides, including Vice President Mike Pence, his new Acting Defence Secretary Christopher Miller, and General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the official said on Monday.

The official confirmed the account of the meeting in The New York Times, which reported that the advisers persuaded Trump not to go ahead with a strike because of the risk of a broader conflict.

"He asked for options. They gave him the scenarios and he ultimately decided not to go forward," the official said.

The White House declined to comment.

Trump has spent all four years of his presidency engaging in an aggressive policy against Iran, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, and imposing economic sanctions against a wide variety of Iranian targets.

Trump, who is challenging the results of the November 3 presidential election, is to hand over power to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.

His request for options came a day after a United Nations atomic watchdog report showed that Iran had finished moving a first cascade of advanced centrifuges from an above-ground plant at its main uranium enrichment site to an underground one, in a fresh breach of its nuclear deal with big powers.

Iran's 2.4 tonne stock of low-enriched uranium is now far above the deal's 202.8 kg limit. It produced 337.5 kg in the quarter, less than the more than 500kg recorded in the previous two quarters by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In January, Trump ordered a US drone strike that killed Iranian military General Qassem Soleimani at the Baghdad airport.

But he has shied away from broader military conflicts and sought to withdraw U.S. troops from global hotspots in keeping with a promise to stop what he calls "endless wars."

A strike on Iran's main nuclear site at Natanz could flare into a regional conflict and pose a serious foreign policy challenge for Biden.

Comments

Hmmm. So Obama gave Iran $Billions in cash, in his very last week in office, while Trump looked to bomb them in his..

Your point? It's better to bribe terrorist as opposed to eleminating them? I personally think we should just invite them all here, give them a plot of land and sit around singing kumbyya. I keep forgetting, New Zealand is a country where everybody has an opinion but nobody ever takes action. Right and wrong are the result of consensus except for mask wearing which is dictated by elected officials and the UN. Why even bother pretending to be a soviergn country when we are dragged along like a puppy on a leash behind our master, China?

"Trump has spent all four years of his presidency engaging in an aggressive policy against Iran" so, the media spent all four years attacking trump, besides "is to hand over power to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on January 20" not if the legal challenges are successful, the media blackout on those is incredible and he is not president elect yet as no state has certified their results.

The not so great Orange in Chief should really be tried for treason against the American people. His legacy is fake news, lies and a trashing of the democratic process. Have to laugh at how successful his legal challenges have been; failures, just like him.

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