President Donald Trump considered launching a strike against Iran’s main nuclear facility last week before senior advisers dissuaded him from the dramatic action, according to two new reports.
Trump has pitched his idea to key national security officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C Miller, and Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley in a meeting in the Oval Office last Thursday, The New York Times reported on Monday. , citing four current and former US officials.
The meeting took place a day after international inspectors informed UN members that Iran had significantly increased its stockpile of nuclear material.
Trump’s advisers ultimately dissuaded him from launching a strike by warning that such action could spark a wider conflict with Iran, Times sources said.
They said any strike, whether by missile or cyber, would likely have targeted Iran’s main nuclear site, Natanz.
A separate source confirmed The Times ‘report of the meeting to Reuters, saying:'[Trump] asked for options. They gave him the scripts and he ultimately decided not to go ahead.
President Donald Trump asked senior advisers last week about launching a strike against Iran in response to its growing nuclear program, according to an alarming new report.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN watchdog, reported last Wednesday in a confidential document that Iran’s stockpile of uranium is now 12 times greater than the limit set by the nuclear deal that Trump withdrew in 2018.
The agency said that as of November 2, Iran had a stockpile of 2,442.9 kilograms (5,385.7 pounds) of low enriched uranium, up from 2,105.4 kilograms (4,641.6 pounds) on August 25. .
The nuclear deal signed in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), enables the Iran to keep only a stock of 202.8 kilograms (447 pounds).
The IAEA reported that Iran is also continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of up to 4.5%, higher than the 3.67% allowed under the deal, which promises economic incentives. to Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.
The agency also said Iran had barred its inspectors from accessing another site where there was evidence of past nuclear activities.
Officials who spoke to The Times said Trump responded to the IAEA report by asking his aides what options he had for responding to Iran’s nuclear expansion.
They said Pompeo and Milley highlighted the risks of military escalation and officials left the meeting with the impression that Trump had been dissuaded from launching a missile attack.
Iran openly announced in advance all violations of the nuclear deal, which followed the United States’ decision to unilaterally withdraw in 2018.
Since the US withdrawal and the imposition of new sanctions, Tehran has pressured the remaining parties with the violations to come up with new ways to compensate for Washington’s crippling economy actions.
This is a developing story.