U.N. officials: U.S. planning a 'tactical assault' in Iran

The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.

By SHLOMO SHAMIR/MAARIV ONLINE
June 17, 2019 20:05
2 minute read.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Is the US going to attack Iran soon?

Diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York revealed to Maariv that they are assessing the United States' plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran in response to the tanker attack in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.

According to the officials, since Friday, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives and advisers to President Donald Trump.

The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.

"The bombing will be massive but will be limited to a specific target," said a Western diplomat.

The decision to carry out military action against Iran was discussed in the White House before the latest report that Iran might increase the level of uranium enrichment.

The officials also noted that the United States plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East, and in the coming days will also send additional soldiers to the area.

The sources added that President Trump himself was not enthusiastic about a military move against Iran, but lost his patience on the matter and would grant Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is pushing for action, what he wants.

Pompeo has repeatedly made statements against Iran in recent days. He claimed that there is no doubt that the recent explosions in tankers in the Gulf were carried out by Iran.

The possibility of a US attack came at the time of the deterioration of relations between the United States and Iran, against the backdrop of the US's withdrawal from the nuclear agreement a year ago, and the sanctions on the economy of the Islamic Republic.

In recent days, Iran has announced that it intends to deviate from the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 and to enrich uranium at a higher level than the maximum it has committed to within the framework of the nuclear deal.

In addition to the confrontation over Iran's nuclear program, the United States accuses Tehran of trying to extend its arm across the Middle East and destabilize the region from Yemen to Syria.

Among other things, the White House blamed Iran for the attack on several oil tankers in recent weeks in the Persian Gulf and even published a video showing Iranian fighters apparently removing a mine that did not explode from a ship that was attacked.

For its part, Iran is threatening to continue countering the US sanctions, as long as the other signatories to the nuclear agreement do not compensate for the economic damage caused to it, and even to withdraw from the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), which prevents countries from developing nuclear weapons.

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