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Report: Trump eyeing more aggressive response to Iran

Sep 13
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The Hill, By Mallory Shelbourne

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

President Trump is reportedly considering a more aggressive strategy toward Iran that would include reactions to the Iranian military and proxies.

Reuters on Monday reported details of the strategy, which was assembled by Defense Secretary James Mattis, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The proposal was offered to Trump on Friday during a meeting of the National Security Council, according to the news service.

Sources described the strategy to Reuters as a means to intensify pressure on Iran over its backing of militant groups and its ballistic missile program.

“I would call it a broad strategy for the range of Iranian malign activities: financial materials, support for terror, destabilization in the region, especially Syria and Iraq and Yemen,” one senior administration official told the news outlet.

The same official said the strategy also covers cyber espionage.

The plan would allow the U.S. Navy to provide a more aggressive response when Iran’s Revolutionary Guard boats intimidate U.S. forces and also calls for more aggressive seizures of arms shipments from Iran, the report said.

News of the aggressive proposal comes after the International Atomic Energy Agency last month found that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear accord negotiated between Tehran and the United States and international powers. 

The Trump administration in July certified Iran’s compliance with the deal, but said it was “in default of the spirit” of the agreement. The administration at the time said it would take a broader approach to deal with Iran’s “malign activities” outside the scope of the nuclear accord, several of which the reported proposal appears to address.

Trump repeatedly slammed the Iran nuclear deal during his presidential campaign and criticized the Obama administration over its negotiation of the accord.

 

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