President Donald Trump was talked out of nascent plans to strike at Iran’s main nuclear site in the few remaining weeks of his administration.
Per a report in the New York Times, Trump asked about options to hit the country during an Oval Office meeting last week, just one day after the International Atomic Energy Agency published a report that estimated Iran has now rebuilt its stockpile to nearly three tons of enriched uranium, enough to build two nuclear weapons. When Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iranian nuclear deal in 2018, the country had off-loaded 97 percent of its old stockpile out of the country, leaving it with too little uranium to build even one weapon.
Trump’s interest in a military strike on the Middle East nation — and possibly ignite a broader war — were resisted by many of his White House inner circle, the Times reports.
A range of senior advisers dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike. The advisers — including Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — warned that a strike against Iran’s facilities could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency.
Back in May, Trump issued one of the few vetoes of his presidency, when he rejected what he called a “very insulting” bipartisan War Powers resolution that sought to expressly block any attempt by his administration to strike Iran.
According to the Times, Trump’s top advisors believe that they successfully talked the president out of any further military action. However, Trump might still be seeking approval from a more sympathetic circle, as sources told the newspaper that ” asmaller group of national security aides had met late Wednesday to discuss Iran, the day before the meeting with the president.”
When asked for comment by the Times, White House officials did not respond.
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