Pentagon officials will reportedly present President Donald Trump on Friday with a number of options to attack Iran following a recent attack on a Saudi oil facility which the Trump administration blamed on Iran.
According to The Associated Press Trump, “will be presented with a list of potential airstrike targets inside Iran, among other possible responses, and he will be warned that military action against the Islamic Republic could escalate into war.”
“The U.S. response could involve military, political, and economic actions,” AP reported, “and the military options could range from no action at all to airstrikes or less visible moves such as cyberattacks.”
The New York Times said Thursday that Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. will present the potential military options and potential targets to Trump. “The Pentagon is advocating military strikes that one senior official described as at the lower end of options,” the Times reported, but he’ll also see “other options that are stronger, options that would require dispatching more forces to the Persian Gulf region.”
The president further increased tensions on Friday by announcing new sanctions targeting Iran. The president announced them during an Oval Office meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Trump called the penalties, which hit Iran’s national bank, the “highest sanctions ever imposed on a country.”
Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has warned against the U.S. pursuing military conflict.
In interview that aired Thursday with CNN, Zarif said: “We don’t want war. We don’t want to engage in a military confrontation. But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”
“We believe that we do not need war in this region,” Zarif added. “We believe that we need dialogue, we need cooperation, we need confidence-building in this region.”
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