Trump asked for options for attacking Iran last week, but held off, source says

first_imgU.S. President Donald Trump walks down the West Wing colonnade to the Rose Garden to deliver an update on the so-called “Operation Warp Speed” program, the joint Defense Department and HHS initiative that has struck deals with several drugmakers in an effort to help speed up the search for effective treatments for the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at the White House in Washington, November 13, 2020.Carlos Barria | Reuters – Advertisement – President Donald Trump, with two months left in office, last week asked for options on attacking Iran’s main nuclear site, but ultimately decided against taking the dramatic step, a U.S. official said on Monday.Trump made the request during an Oval Office meeting on Thursday with his top national security aides, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, new acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the official said.Trump, who has refused to concede and is challenging the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election, is to hand over power to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.- Advertisement – Trump has spent all four years of his presidency engaging in an aggressive policy against Iran, withdrawing in 2018 from the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, and imposing economic sanctions against a wide variety of Iranian targets.Trump’s request for options came a day after a U.N. watchdog report showed Iran had finished moving a first cascade of advanced centrifuges from an above-ground plant at its main uranium enrichment site to an underground one, in a fresh breach of its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York, said Iran’s nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes and civilian use and Trump’s policies have not changed that. “However, Iran has proven to be capable of using its legitimate military might to prevent or respond to any melancholy adventure from any aggressor,” he added.Iran’s 2.4 tonne stock of low-enriched uranium is now far above the deal’s 202.8 kg limit. It produced 337.5 kg in the quarter, less than the more than 500 kg recorded in the previous two quarters by the International Atomic Energy Agency.In January, Trump ordered a U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad’s airport. But he has shied away from broader military conflicts and sought to withdraw U.S. troops from global hotspots in keeping with a promise to stop what he calls “endless wars.”A strike on Iran’s main nuclear site at Natanz could flare into a regional conflict and pose a serious foreign policy challenge for Biden.Biden’s transition team, which has not had access to national security intelligence due to the Trump administration’s refusal to begin the transition, declined comment.center_img – Advertisement – The official confirmed the account of the meeting in The New York Times, which reported the advisers persuaded Trump not to go ahead with a strike because of the risk of a broader conflict.“He asked for options. They gave him the scenarios and he ultimately decided not to go forward,” the official said.The White House declined comment.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Help create a vision for a beautiful park

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Shenendehowa school district voters have an opportunity Dec. 5 to take another giant leap forward in securing and expanding a precious commodity: open space and greenery. A majority “yes” vote at Shen’s Gowana Middle School on that day will approve a negotiated agreement under which the school district will sell 34 acres of open land to the town of Clifton Park for eventual development into a park.This opportunity was made possible by a months-long regional effort and April referendum to reverse a Shenendehowa school board vote to sell the land for commercial development. Since that vote, school board and town officials have been holding meetings to determine the next steps. This effort led to an agreement for the town to purchase the land for $1.1 million. As part of that agreement, voters in the district get to have their say on final approval.I hope voters throughout the district understand the value of retaining this land to create a park for everyone in the region to enjoy for decades to come — preventing it from becoming part of the wave of commercial and residential development sweeping the community. Open space and parks improve the overall attractiveness and value of our community as a place to live and/or work. Let’s not let this opportunity pass.On Dec. 5, cast a “yes” vote that places our town among those Capital Region communities whose leaders, businesses and residents have had the vision to create beautiful parks, such as The Crossings in Colonie and Congress Park in Saratoga Springs.Mark MarchandClifton ParkMore from The Daily Gazette:Controversial solar project goes before Clifton Park Planning BoardFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGame 7: Shenendehowa grad and Braves rookie Ian Anderson gets start with World Series spot on the li…last_img read more