By Brett Samuels – 01/13/19 08:20 AM EST
The Trump administration’s National Security Council sought military options to strike Iran last September after a group aligned with Tehran fired mortars near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
The newspaper reported that national security adviser John Bolton asked the Pentagon for military options in the aftermath of the mortar strikes, which did not hit the embassy or injure anyone. The Pentagon reportedly complied with Bolton’s request, though it’s unclear if a serious plan was developed or if President Trump was aware of the request.
“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,” Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told the Journal.
The Trump administration has taken a hardline approach to Iran, ratcheting up tensions between the two countries.
Trump last year withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, despite international allies urging him not to do so. The agreement placed limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The U.S. has since reimposed sanctions on Iran, while other countries have remained committed to the nuclear pact.
A State Department official said in November that military action against Iran could be possible should sanctions against the country fail to curb Tehran from delivering weapons to hostile groups in the region.