The US is reportedly considering a more hawkish approach to the Islamic Republic in response to Iranian belligerence over the past year.
The Trump administration is considering a more aggressive response to Iranian-backed forces operating in Iraq and Syria, according to a report in Reuters that referenced six anonymous current and former US officials.
The proposal, which is primarily geared towards pressuring Iran to cease its ballistic missile programs and support for Shiite militias in the region, was said to have been discussed and presented to US President Donald Trump at a meeting of the National Security Council last Friday. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster were all present at the meeting.
The Trump administration also reportedly intends to coordinate such responses with US allies.
“Whatever we end up with, we want to implement with allies to the greatest extent possible,” an official was quoted as telling Reuters.
Any cyber espionage and nuclear proliferation will also be monitored, the official added. The plan would also allow for more aggressive interceptions of Iranian arm shipments to terrorist groups in the Middle East such as Hamas.
Reuters said that according to four of the six officials, the national security council still views defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as the main priority. As a result, the plan does not yet recommend an escalation of US military responses to the Iranian backed Shiite militias operating in Syria and Iraq out of concern that it could detract from efforts to defeat ISIS.
The reportedly new approach by the US in reining in increased Iranian aggression follows a number of tense encounters between US and Iranian vessels this year.
By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News