As the White House convenes a policy meeting on Iran Thursday involving senior Pentagon officials and cabinet advisers under national security adviser John Bolton, and after a week of intense saber-rattling by President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, a new bombshell report by Australia's ABC says the White House is drawing up plans to strike Iran's alleged nuclear facilities as early as next month.
Senior figures in the Australia's Turnbull government have told the ABC they believe the US is prepared to bomb Iran's nuclear capability. The bombing could be as early as next month. —ABC report
Crucially, Australia is part of the so-called "Five Eyes" global intelligence partners which includes the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and plays in a key role in hosting top-secret facilities that guide American spy satellites.
According to the breaking report, ABC [Australian Broadcasting Corporation] has learned the following based on statements of key senior defense and intelligence officials:
Senior Government figures have told the ABC they believe the Trump administration is prepared to bomb Iran
They say Australian defence facilities would likely play a role in identifying possible targets
But another senior source, in security, emphasizes there is a difference between providing intelligence and "active targeting"
The report cites high level Aussie government officials who say that secretive Australian defense and intelligence facilities would likely cooperate with the United States and Britain in identifying targets in a strike on Iran.
One particular facility, the Pine Gap joint defense facility in the Northern Territory, would play a significant targeting role in joint US-led strikes on Iran, according to the report, it's "considered crucial among the so-called 'Five Eyes' intelligence partners... for its role in directing American spy satellites."
And further, other agencies are expected to play a role:
Analysts from the little-known spy agency Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation would also be expected to play a part.
Canada would be unlikely to play a role in any military action in Iran, nor would the smallest Five Eyes security partner New Zealand, sources said.
However, though officials speaking to ABC on condition of anonymity say intelligence plans for targeting suspected Iran nuke sites have begun, Australia's foreign ministry is still seeking to avoid war through intense diplomatic efforts.
"Australia is urging Iran to be a force for peace and stability in the region," Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told ABC's AM program on Thursday.
The report comes after President Trump's all caps twitter tirade on Sunday which warned Iran to "NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE..."