Pentagon was asked to draw up plans for attack on Iran

Report White House ordered shocking request for potential attack on Iran

Pentagon was asked to draw up plans for attack on Iran

The Journal, citing conversations with people familiar with the talks, also reported that the council requested options for launching strikes at both Iraq and Syria when they made the request for Iran.

But they triggered unusual alarm in Washington, where Mr. Trump's national security team led by John Bolton conducted a series of meetings to discuss a forceful American response, including what many saw as the unusual request for options to strike Iran.

"The Department of Defense is a planning organization and provides the president military options for a variety of threats", Colonel Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, told AFP.

The request by the National Security Council, which is led by John Bolton, sparked deep concern among Pentagon and State Department officials, the newspaper reported, citing current and former U.S. officials.

Citing current and former US officials.

The mortars landed in an empty lot, and no injuries were reported. He penned a 2015 New York Times opinion piece prior to his current role titled "To stop Iran's bomb, bomb Iran".

Citing the lack of casualties and limited damage that resulted from the September 6 mortar attack, the US officials whom the Journal spoke to said Bolton's request for a far-reaching military response was jarring.

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Relations between Iran and the US have become more confrontational since Trump's election and his May 2018 decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal and reimpose severe economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In September, Bolton, who worked hard on the withdrawal from the treaty, warned Tehran that there would be "hell to pay" if Iran threatened the United States or its allies.

Asked about the report during his Middle East trip, U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo declined comment.

"Even militarily?" asked CNN's Elise Labott.

"We continue to review the status of our personnel following attempted attacks on our embassy in Baghdad and our Basra consulate, and we will consider a full range of options to preserve their safety and our interests", he said.

In one NSC meeting, then deputy national security advisor Mira Ricardel called the attacks in Iraq an "act of war" and called for a decisive United States response.

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