Trump wants to hit Iran, aides said no

Filed on November 18, 2020 | Last updated on November 18, 2020 at 12.48 am

The senior officials dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike.

Two months before he is due to leave office, US President Donald Trump asked top aides about the possibility of striking Iran's nuclear facilities, The New York Times reported on Monday.

During a meeting at the Oval Office last Thursday, the outgoing Republican leader asked several top aides, including Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, "whether he had options to take action against Iran's main nuclear site in the coming weeks", the newspaper said.

The senior officials "dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike", warning him that such an attack could escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of his presidency, the Times wrote.

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said any military action would be met with a crushing response but added that he personally found it unlikely Washington would want to create instability.

"Our summarised response has always been that any action against the people of Iran will be met with a crushing response," Rabiei told a Tuesday news conference.

He said his "personal opinion, not that of the government spokesman" was that "there might be attempts" but he did not expect "that they would want to bring insecurity to the world and region".

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