"Crushing Response" Leading To War: Iran Responds To Report That Trump Mulled Attack

An Iranian government spokesman on Tuesday issued an official response to a late Monday NY Times report that said Trump sought "options" from his generals and advisers on mounting a preemptive strike on Iran.

Iran vowed a "crushing response" and military action in retaliation, according to the statement. "Any action against the Iranian nation would certainly face a crushing response," spokesman Ali Rabiei said in televised remarks via state channels.

Via Arms Control Center

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz seized on the potential for Trump to degrade the Islamic Republic's nuclear abilities with just weeks to go in his presidency, saying that "If I were the Iranians, I would not feel at ease," according to remarks cited in Reuters.

"It is very important that the Iranians know that if, indeed, they suddenly dash toward high levels of enrichment, in the direction of nuclear weaponry, they are liable to encounter the military might of the United States - and also, perhaps, of other countries," Steinitz said in an interview on Israel's Army Radio.

Israel itself has lately signaled it could act on its own against Iran should Biden move to restore conditions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, which Trump had pulled the US out of in May 2018. Tel Aviv has long maintained that Iran would secretly pursue nuclear weapons under cover of the deal. 

The New York Times report had noted that "Mr Trump asked his top national security aides what options were available and how to respond" - but that his top advisers argued against it, saying it would spiral into major war which would consume his last weeks in office. 

The Iranians have been positively celebrating Biden's victory as it means a likely softening of sanctions and potential restoration of terms of the JCPOA.