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Trump's national security team meets on possible Iran options



WASHINGTON – High-level national security officials from across the government will meet on Thursday to draw up a list of potential targets for a strike in Iran should President Trump order military retaliation for Saudi Arabian oil and rocket drones this past weekend , Officials said.

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will present Mr. Trump with the updated options at a National Security Council meeting scheduled for Friday, a senior American official said.

Before being presented with the latest options, Mr. Trump sent various signals about his intentions. He has threatened to order "the ultimate option" of an Iranian strike to punish the nation for its behavior, but has also made it clear he is still against condemning the United States to another war in the Middle East.

The Pentagon is advocating military strikes described by a senior official at the bottom of the options. The official said any retaliation could focus on more secret operations – actions predicting military planners would not trigger escalation by Iran.

These types of targets could include locations where Iran can fire cruise missiles and drones and where weapons are stored. In this scenario, the military option would include a diplomatic reconnaissance campaign at the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week to seek support for the additional sanctions that Mr. Trump has ordered and other non-military moves. Mr Trump has announced that new sanctions will be imposed on Iran. A number of covert cyber operations are also discussed. [194559007] A military strike against Iran would lead to a "comprehensive war" the Iranian Foreign Minister said Thursday. 19659002] However, it remains unclear whether the United States and Saudi Arabia could muster strong support from the United Nations, as the Saudis were criticized for having waged a war in Yemen demanding civilian casualties, and Since Mr. Trump has been heavily criticized for the US withdrawal from a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran.

The high-ranking American official, who talked about internal considerations on the condition of anonymity, warned, however, that Trump would also have other options that are stronger, options that require the deployment of more troops into the Persian Gulf region would.

The officer did not provide details of these targets, but could include Iranian oil facilities or targets involving Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Mr Trump's conflicting statements on Wednesday had the Department of Defense and military officers assess what action the President would take.

Several issues could delay any immediate military action, officials said. First, Saudi Arabia is concerned that a military response could quickly escalate and lead to further attacks on the kingdom and its vulnerable oil factories.

Another problem is that American forensic scientists have just arrived in Saudi Arabia in the last few days – the scene of the attacks in Saudi Arabia. The analysis of circuit boards retrieved from one of the cruise missiles and providing valuable clues to the trajectory and flight path of the missiles is still ongoing. This information could be important to make a case who is responsible for the attacks.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that Mr. Trump was seeking a peaceful path. "We really want a peaceful solution," he told reporters in the United Arab Emirates before completing a two-day trip to the Gulf. "We are still trying to build a coalition, I was here in an act of diplomacy, while the Iranian Foreign Minister is threatening the whole war to fight to the very last American, we are here to build a coalition, the "Peace and a peaceful solution."

Mr Pompeo said the United States was planning to impose more sanctions on Iran, as Trump announced on Wednesday, "We have taken steps to give Iran the ability and the ability to do so He said: "To refuse riches, to prevent them from carrying out their terrorist campaigns," and you can see from the events of last week that there is more work to be done. "

The European nations that have tried the nuclear deal Rescuing Iran from Iran in 2015 responded cautiously to the attack in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, when the French government announced that President Emmanuel Macron had telephoned the day before On Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had promised that French experts would travel to Saudi Arabia at the request of the Saudis to assist in the investigation.

With France, Germany and Great Britain, China and Russia have also concluded the 2015 agreement with Iran. All five nations, four of whom are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, have criticized the Trump administration for resigning from the agreement. In particular, China has complained about Washington's sanctions on Iranian oil.

American officials have not yet set out the case against Iran and the recommendations they intend to present at the United Nations General Assembly next week.

"I'm confident we'll talk a lot about it in New York and that the Saudis will do it," Pompeo said Wednesday. "The Saudis were the nation that was attacked. It was on her floor. It was a direct war against them, and I'm confident they'll do that.

This suggests that there may be a period of discussion among international leaders before Washington continues with strong action.


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