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Pentagon to Present Trump, Aides With a ‘Range’ of Iran Military Options

Pentagon to Present Trump, Aides With a ‘Range’ of Iran Military Options

Gen. Dunford says US response is a ‘political judgment’

Though President Trump has downplayed the idea of war with Iran over the past couple of days, the actual decision is to be made at a high-profile meeting, either Thursday or Friday depending according to reports. 

Trump will be joined by a number of national security officials and other aides, and will be presented with a wide array of options by the Pentagon. Options are said to range from full-scale war to a simple cyberattack.

Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was very clear about the Pentagon not pushing any specific agenda on this matter, saying the response would be purely a “political judgement.”

Among Trump’s officials, Pompeo is seen as the one pushing hardest for a military response. He’s been in Saudi Arabia meeting with officials there, and probably will come back all the more hawkish. 

This response, whatever it will be, will be nominally over Iran attacking Saudi oil refineries with drones. The Iranians denied having done so, and Yemen’s Houthis said it was them, not the Iranians. 

Either way, Saudi oil output is virtually back to pre-attack levels as it is, not even a week later, which gives the appearance this whole thing was being hugely overplayed earlier in the week.

Trump has already announced that there will be sanctions against Iran, and those sanctions are set to be announced Friday as well. The timing of the two together could further reduce the pressure to take more extreme measures militarily. 

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