WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Trump was warned against attacking Iran by his senior advisers, especially a few weeks away from the end of his term.
- The officials reportedly had a meeting with the president at the Oval Office about the military options at Iran, and a missile attack was out of the equation.
- While President Trump has frequently lessened U.S relations to the Middle East, any attacks on Iran at this time would affect Biden’s administration to the country.
The New York Times wrote Monday that the senior consultants of President Trump discouraged him from launching a military assault on Iran in an attempt to stop its rising nuclear program, considering his last weeks in the Oval Office.
The Times also reported that four incumbent and ex U.S. executives said the president conferred with senior officials on Thursday during a White House meeting about the possibilities of attacking the nuclear site of Iran.
Trump was responding to an earlier report by the International Atomic Energy Agency saying that Iran’s uranium supply was 12 folds beyond the allowable limit under the Islamic Republic’s nuclear deal that the administration abandoned in 2018. Iran also forbid inspectors to check a location where there was allegedly an earlier nuclear activity, according to a report by the international regulator.
The officials who reportedly discouraged the president from striking were Vice President Pence, interim Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley.
The committee warned that the move by the U.S. could escalate tensions with Iran which could result in an unavoidable conflict. White House officials who were involved in the details of the meeting told the outlet that the meeting ended with the advisers trusting a missile attack was never an option.
The Times added that the officials also Trump may still be exploring options to attack Iran and militia allies in Iraq.
The White House is yet to comment on The Hill’s inquiry about the matter.
The Times also noted that the president’s possible response might disagreeable with his camp as he consistently promoted limited U.S. association in the Middle East. The move, however, could also tarnish relations with Iran as President-elect Joe Biden starts to hold office.
The Times story was following last week’s sacking of Defense Secretary Mark Esper along with leading Pentagon officials by Trump. National security and Pentagon officers have surreptitiously spoken about their worries about the president’s potential action versus Iran or other rivals during the last weeks of his term.
Officials also disclosed to the newspaper that Pompeo is observing Iraq for any move against U.S troops or diplomats from Iran or its paramilitaries. The secretary of State had implemented procedures to close the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, according to a September report by
The Washington Post. The secretary, however, conveyed that he is willing to put off.
Officials also noted that if Americans are attacked before Inauguration Day, the current procedures may be amended.
Source: The Hill