In the midst of dealing with election day lawsuits, it sounded like President Trump was close to sending in an attack on Iran last week. Reports out of the nation’s capital indicate that Trump asked for options on attacking Iran’s main nuclear site last week but ultimately decided against the attack.
The New York Times confirmed the account of a meeting between President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. An official told the New York Times that the advisors persuaded Trump not to go ahead with the strike due to a risk of igniting a broader conflict.
“He asked for options. They gave him the scenarios, and he ultimately decided not to go forward,” the official said.
Throughout his presidency Trump has taken a hardline stance against Iran. Withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear deal negotiated by Barack Obama while also imposing economic sanctions against a wide variety of Iranian targets.
A United Nations atomic watchdog report last week showed that Iran had moved a first cascade of advanced centrifuges from an above-ground plant to an underground one. The move is another breach in a long line of breaking rules set forth in Iran’s nuclear deal with the great power countries.
A move against Iran by Trump could end up being a foreign policy challenge for Joe Biden down the road. A strike on Iran’s nuclear site could easily flare into a regional conflict that could force Biden’s hand into involvement that could prove to be very unpopular with his base.