Rumor has it that some UN officials reportedly believe the Trump administration is planning a major bombing campaign in Iran, according to reporting by the Jerusalem Post published Monday.
The reports of a possible bombing campaign also follow news that the Trump administration has been preparing to deploy 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East in a move critics say will offset an already-precarious relationship with Iran and possibly provoke war.
Citing anonymous diplomatic sources from the New York U.N. headquarters, the report claims U.N. officials are assessing plans by the U.S. to carry out an aerial bombardment of an Iranian nuclear facility.
One diplomat reportedly told The Post that the bombing campaign would be “massive,” yet limited to a specific target.
The sources for The Post’s story are definitely dodgy, garnering suspicions from critics who are still alarmed by the possibility that the Trump administration may bomb Iran. Launching just a single airstrike, they say, may create a devastating, all-out military conflict in the Middle East.
The possibility of a military strike comes on the heels of the Trump administration pointing fingers at Iran for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week.
While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the attack and claimed there was no doubt in the matter, the evidence for the accusations are slim, and there has yet to be reports of an impartial investigation into what happened.
Many critics are urging Americans to not fall for the hostile sentiment that war with Iran would be justified due to the still-unsubstantiated accusations against Iran.
“We must not fall into step with their prefab bloodlust,” Owen Jones, foreign policy columnist for The Guardian, wrote.
The incident, as well as threats by Iranian leaders to violate the 2015 international nuclear deal if European signatories didn’t offer financial relief within 60 days, have fueled the urgency for concerns of looming war.
Pompeo has privately warned Iranian leaders that an attack resulting in the death of even a single U.S. service member will provoke a counterattack as internal debate among Trump’s top officials over possible retaliation has ignited, The Washington Post reported.
Pompeo carried this characteristically aggressive policy against Iran while on a visit to Baghdad in May, when he spoke about U.S. officials’ suspicion that Iran’s militia may resume attacks on U.S. forces near them in Iraq. He once again repeated that even a single American fatality would prompt retaliation from the United States. It’s hard to find someone more anti-Iran in Washington, except possibly National Security Adviser John Bolton.
While The Jerusalem Post’s sources reportedly claim Trump isn’t seeking out war with Iran, recent events have pushed him toward relenting to Pompeo, who has been pushing for action, including a maximum pressure campaign to squeeze Iran with sanctions and starve the country of oil revenue.
But with Patrick Shanahan, former acting defense secretary, out the door, many are concerned such aggressive policies may escalate unrest and push the Pentagon beyond its mission of destroying the remnants of extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, and toward full-out conflict with Iran.
The United States’ allies in Europe have also been voicing concerns about conflict and urging both sides to avoid increased tension.
The Washington Post
reported that a German official hopes the U.S. will de-escalate the tension and put pressure campaigns to rest.
U.S. officials at the Pentagon have also raised concerns that pressure campaigns and hard-line rhetoric could escalate the tension and threaten the safety of Americans.
Russian officials have also told the U.S. to abandon what they’ve called provocative plans to deploy more troops to the Middle East.
To make matters worse, Trump aides have long been pushing the idea that the administration has the legal right to bypass Congress and take military action against Iran due to a decades-old law originally penned to authorize war in Afghanistan.