Trump Says He Was Minutes From Launching Attack on Iran
There was unanimity on the strike, led by national security adviser Bolton. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were also in agreement.
On Friday morning United States President Donald Trump tweeted he was, “cocked and loaded” to strike three sites in Iran after a U.S. drone was shot down on Thursday morning. The New York Times was the first outlet to report on the canceled air strike on Iran.
….On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps of Iran claims the drone was violating Iranian air space, while the United States says the drone was operating in international space.
“While we were tracking the spy drone there was also a P-8 spy plane with 35 crew on board which we could have shot at, but we did not do so,” stated Iran’s commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, Amir Ali Hajizadeh.
Tension Over The Drone
Hajizadeh stated on state television that the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps sent two stages of warnings to the drone, which were ignored before the vehicle was downed.
According to NBC News, U.S. special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook claimed it’s “important we do everything” to de-escalate the current situation and avoid war. “Our diplomacy does not give Iran the right to respond with military force, Iran needs to meet our diplomacy with diplomacy and not military force,” he told a news conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Saudi Arabia and Israel are notable allies in the Middle East which seem to favor U.S. military action against Iran.
An adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Hesameddin Ashena, took to Twitter to urge President Trump to change his policy towards the country.
Sanctions on Iran is economic terrorism. We will respond to it by all means necessary. Today’s crisis stems from Washington’s withdrawal from JCPOA, and obstructing real diplomatic overtures. But this process is reversible. Every tangible constructive step will be met in kind.
— Hesameddin Ashena (@hesamodin1) June 21, 2019
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was an agreement signed limiting the Iranian nuclear program on July 14, 2015. The original signatories were China, France, Germany, the European Union, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. On October 13, 2017, President Trump announced the country would not certify the deal, effectively withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement.
How The Iran Decision Came To Pass
A senior Trump administration official went on background when speaking to CNN about the situation with Iran and how close the U.S. came to launching a military strike. According to their recollection, the decision to not bomb Iran was made between 7pm and 8pm Thursday night. The CNN source claims President Trump changed his mind when realizing the possible impact on civilians, “he made the call when he internalized the severity of casualties.”
The official detailed to CNN the group of individuals who were pushing for a military strike in response to Iran:
“There was unanimity on the strike, led by national security adviser Bolton. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were also in agreement. Other officials agreed that there needed to be some kind of response. The source made clear that officials still believe a response is needed and that is what they are considering today. There were different responses presented and different voices about whether the strike was the right response.”
President Trump would also detail his decision when speaking to the media. “I thought about it for a second and I said, you know what, they shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with a 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead, and I didn’t like it, I didn’t think, I didn’t think it was proportionate.”
While hostilities have been avoided in the short-term, President Trump is surrounded by neo-conservative war hawks in his administration. As Citizen Truth has reported on in the past, individuals with ties to the massive military industrial complex often push for conflict in similar situations. Pending conflict with Iran will play a significant role in the remainder of President Trump’s first term in office.