Trump’s most high-profile attack on Iran took place when the US killed IRGC Major General Qassem Soleimani in a January 3 drone strike at Baghdad’s airport.
It could be that Trump is looking to make the last days in office quite hot by stirring some controversy in the Middle East.
On November 17th, Iran warned of a “crushing response” to any attack by the United States.
“Any action against the Iranian nation would certainly face a crushing response,” said government spokesperson Ali Rabiei in remarks streamed on an official government news site.
This took place while Israel was striking targets in Syria, belonging to both the Syrian Arab Army, as well as allegedly to the Iranian Quds Force.
The report alleged that US President Donald Trump convened his top advisers to ask if he had options to strike Iranian nuclear sites during his final weeks in office.
His advisers allegedly warned that this could lead to a larger conflict in his last weeks in office.
The meeting with top advisers took place on November 12th, a day after the UN nuclear watchdog said Iran had stockpiled more than 12 times more enriched uranium than the 2015 nuclear deal allows, the Times reported, citing four current and former US officials, all of them unnamed.
The report from the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that Iran now had a stockpile of more than 2,442 kilograms, or over 5,385 pounds, of low-enriched uranium. That is enough to produce about two nuclear weapons, according to an analysis of the report by the Institute for Science and International Security.
Among those present at the meeting were Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the report said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Israel on November 18th and he is expected to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen.
Some Israeli officials commented on the New York Times report.
“If I were the Iranians, I would not feel at ease,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said, saying that he was not directly aware of any deliberations on the matter by the Trump administration.
“It is very important that the Iranians know that if, indeed, they suddenly dash toward high levels of enrichment, in the direction of nuclear weaponry, they are liable to encounter the military might of the United States — and also, perhaps, of other countries,” Steinitz said.
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