The Pentagon is presenting a broad range of military options to Donald Trump as he considers how to respond to what administration officials say was an unprecedented Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry.
In a White House meeting, the president will be presented with a list of potential air strike targets inside Iran, among other possible responses, and he also will be warned that military action against the Islamic Republic could escalate into war, according to sources.
The national security meeting is likely to be the first opportunity for a decision on how the US should respond to the attack on a key Middle East ally.
US officials were unwilling to predict what kind of response Trump will choose. In June, after Iran shot down an American surveillance drone, Trump initially endorsed a retaliatory military strike then abruptly called it off because he said it would have killed dozens of Iranians. The decision underscores the president’s long-held reluctance to embroil the country in another war in the Middle East.
Instead, Trump opted to have US military cyber forces carry out a strike against military computer systems used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to control rocket and missile launchers, according to US officials.