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Donald Trump contemplated putting the world on the brink of war last week after asking advisers about a possible attack on Iran.
News of the outgoing President’s request yesterday led to Tehran warning that any action against it “would certainly face a crushing response”.
The Pentagon’s strike plans are thought to have included missile attacks, cyber-warfare, and pre-emptive action by Israel, which has previously carried out a series of operations against Iran.
Trump had considered a strike on its nuclear facilities after the global watchdog said Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile was 12 times that permitted.
However advisers talked him out of the attack, warning it could spark a broader conflict.
Trump contemplated putting the world on the brink of war
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Donald Trump talked out of Iran missile strike after election loss 'over fears of war'
Two years ago, Trump pulled out of a 2015 Iran nuclear deal under which the US and five other world powers including the UK give Iran relief from crippling economic sanctions.
In return, Tehran would adhere to limits on its activities to show it was not developing nuclear weapons.
But Trump said the Obama-led deal was “defective at its core” and reinstated US sanctions in an attempt to force Iran’s leaders to negotiate a replacement.
They have refused to do so and retaliated by rolling back some key commitments, like those on production of enriched uranium.
US President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on January 20, said he will consider rejoining the nuclear deal as long as Iran returns to full compliance.