Trump has sought a strike against the senior Iranian commander before the elections, says the ex-Pentagon chief

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Donald Trump wanted to hit a top Iranian military commander in August 2020, several months before the US presidential election, his former defense secretary claims in a new book.

A pre-issue of A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Defense Secretary in Extraordinary Times by Mark Esper was obtained from The Guardian.

According to the British newspaper, the book portrays Esper as a Trump aide who dismissed numerous illegal or ill-conceived schemes by the US president and his associates, including firing “missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs” and dunking the decapitated man Head of a terrorist leader in pig’s blood as a warning to other Islamist militants.

When it came to the Iranian commander, Esper wrote that General Mark Milley, who heads the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told him then-National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien called to say that “the President had hit a senior military officer.” wanted, who was active outside of Iran”, shortly before the 2020 elections.

The US had already killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Kuds Force, in a January 2020 strike in Baghdad.

“It was a really bad idea with very big consequences,” Esper wrote of the pre-election strike plan.

Then-US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper discusses vaccine development with US President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House May 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. (ALMOND NGAN / AFP)

“Milley and I were aware of this individual and the problems he had been causing in the area for some time. But why now? what was new Was there an immediate threat? How about gathering the national security team to discuss this?” he added

“Milley said he was ‘stunned’ by the call and felt that ‘O’Brien tricked the President’ into creating messages that would help Trump’s re-election.”

According to Esper, Milley told O’Brien he would discuss the request with the Secretary of Defense and other senior officials.

U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien speaks to reporters at the White House, October 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“I couldn’t believe it,” Esper said. “I’d seen that movie before, where White House officials meet with the President, goad him, and then come up with one of their ‘great ideas.’ But that was a really bad idea with very big consequences. How come the people in the White House didn’t see that?”

Esper recalled telling Milley he would not act without a written order from Trump, the Guardian report said.

“There is no way I would unilaterally take such a measure,” he said, “especially one that comes with a host of legal, diplomatic, political and military implications, not to mention plunging us into war with Iran.” could.”

The former Pentagon chief wrote that the exchange between O’Brien and Milley in August 2020 was “the last time anything serious about Iran was discussed before the election.”

US President Donald Trump arrives to address the nation from the White House on the ballistic missile attack Iran has launched against Iraqi air bases housing US troops, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley , center, and US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, Jan. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump’s opposition to Iran has been a key element of his re-election campaign, and many feared he would attempt to provoke war as November 2020 approaches.

“Any attack by Iran, in whatever form, on the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater!” Trump tweeted in September 2020.

Milley said in the book that he believes Trump doesn’t want war, but said the outgoing president continues to push for a missile attack in response to Iranian provocations and attacks against US interests in the region.

According to Axios, Esper’s book was reviewed by the Pentagon and reviewed by generals and cabinet members.

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