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President Donald Trump Asked for Options to Attack Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

By webmanager, The New York Times 19th Nov 20 7:05 am

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned President Trump against a strike on Iran and described the potential risks of military escalation.Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

 

In an Oval Office meeting, President Donald Trump asked senior advisors last Thursday about potential options to take action against Iran’s main nuclear site.

A range of senior advisors, including  Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff dissuaded Trump from moving ahead with a military strike.

Any strike, be it a missile or cyber, would certainly be focused on Natanz, where the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Wednesday that Iran’s uranium stockpile was now 12 times larger than permitted under the nuclear accord that Mr. Trump abandoned in 2018.

Mr. Donald Trump asked his security aides the options left and how to respond.

According to administration officials with knowledge of the meeting, after Mr. Pompeo and General Milley highlighted the potential risks associated with military escalation, officials left the meeting believing a missile attack inside Iran was off the table.

“He asked for options. They gave him the scenarios and he ultimately decided not to go forward,” one official told. Another told, “a conflict with Iran ends badly for everyone involved”.

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said, “any action against the Iranian nation would certainly face a crushing response”.

But Donald Trump might still be looking at ways to strike Iranian assets and allies, along with militias in Iraq.

When asked about the meeting, the White House has not commented on it.

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