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Intel: Bolton’s Iran strike plans leaked after he elevated longtime associate

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2018.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RC12739E4AB0

US National security adviser John Bolton asked the Pentagon to prepare options for military strikes against Iran last year, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Bolton’s request came after a mortar attack last year in Baghdad’s Green Zone near the US Embassy in Iraq. The White House attributed the attack to an Iran-backed Shiite militia. It’s unclear if President Donald Trump even knew about Bolton’s request.

Why it matters: The leaks to US media outlets came shortly after Bolton doubled down on his hard-line Iran strategy by elevating Charles Kupperman, a longtime associate, to deputy national security adviser on Friday. Kupperman, a former Boeing and Lockheed Martin executive, previously served on the board for the Center for Security Policy, a far-right think tank advocating for a hawkish Iran policy founded by Islamophobic conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.

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