Soon after two developments came to pass in 2018 – the U.S. walking out of the Iran JCPOA, and an attack on the country’s embassy in Iraq by a group aligned with Iran, the US National Security Council asked the Pentagon for plans to launch an attack on Iran, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
According to the paper, Mira Ricardel, the former deputy national security adviser, described the attack on the US embassy in Iraq as "an act of war," and said that the U.S. needed to respond accordingly. This request was reportedly met with “shock” and “concern” in the Pentagon.
The Pentagon accepted the order of the National Security Council, the Journal reported, but it is unknown whether or not the plans for striking Iran were ever fully developed or even provided to the White House. The Journal also said that it is unknown whether President Donald Trump had knowledge of the request.
In a statement provided, Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said that it "coordinates policy and provides the President with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats."
"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," the statement read. Marquis also provided the Journal with the same response.
The Journal, citing conversations with people familiar with the request to the council, also reported that the council requested options for launching strikes at both Iraq and Syria when they made the request for Iran.
This report comes as the Trump Administration has renewed its focus on Iran – from imposing biting economic sanctions to strong political rhetoric. The US President has personally tweeted out against Iran on multiple occasions and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently avowed that they would get every last “Iranian boot out of Syria.”