Trump Reportedly Proposed Bombing Iranian Nuclear Sites

Thursday, 19 Nov, 2020

The outgoing USA president - who has insisted he won the election despite his legal challenges being dismissed by courts - asked officials for options on attacking Iran's main nuclear site at Natanz before deciding against the strikes, according to reports.

His request for options came a day after a United Nations atomic watchdog report showed that Iran had finished moving a first cascade of advanced centrifuges from an above-ground plant at its main uranium enrichment site to an underground one, in a fresh breach of its nuclear deal with big powers.

The agencies, the report said, are scrutinizing attempts by the kingdom to build up ability to produce nuclear fuel that could potentially lead to the development of nuclear weapons.

"He asked for options". Trump reportedly told advisers that Iran would face a "swift and painful" response if any Americans are killed in future attacks.

"A simple return to the JCPOA would give Iran patient pathways to nuclear weapons, an economy increasingly immunized against USA ability to use peaceful economic pressure in the future, and regional dominance".

Iran's 2.4 tonne stock of low-enriched uranium is now far above the deal's 202.8 kg limit. If we get unlucky, though, we may end up with the worst of all worlds: "Iran with nuclear weapons, and many key allies tired to work with us". The findings were confirmed by an analysis of the report by the Institute for Science and International Security. This means that Iran could have a nuclear weapon by late spring.

"Throughout the coming weeks and months, we will impose new sanctions on Iran, including using our nuclear, counterterrorism, and human rights authorities, each reflecting the wide range of malign behavior that continues to emanate from the Iranian regime", he said.

Iran has frequently denied that it is after nuclear weapons.

The Tehran government struck a familiar bellicose tone when the news of Trump's meeting with his cabinet broke out.

Trump labelled the agreement "poorly negotiated" that would still allow Iran to be on the brink of a nuclear breakout, even if they comply.

An array of top advisors persuaded Trump against pursuing such a strike with such a short time left in his presidency, warning the move could spark a broader conflict. His actions could greatly affect situations in the Middle East.

Rebecca Heinrichs, Hudson Institute fellow and former military matters and foreign policy adviser to the House Armed Services Committee, said she expects Biden's foreign policy team will be "chomping at the bit" to rejoin the JCPOA, but noted several things will make this hard. The chances of rekindling it are already slim.

Mr Shomali added: "The reactionary and anti-people leaders of the ruling regime in Iran and the United States government should not be permitted to drive the Middle East region once again into the abyss of fire and blood with another disastrous war". The Soleimani strike pushed the U.S. and Iran to the brink of war.

The Pentagon's strike plans are thought to have included missile attacks, cyber-warfare, and pre-emptive action by Israel, which has previously carried out a series of operations against Iran.

Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei listens.

Earlier this summer, the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz had been the site of a fire that many believe was the work of a cyber attack.