Trump Stopped Strike on Iran Because It Was ‘Not Proportionate’ – The New York Times

But the hold has been lifted, according to the official, who requested anonymity to discuss confidential deliberations about possible military actions. Mr. Trump could still launch a strike relatively quickly if he ordered the military to do so, the official said.

The Iranian government on Friday denied a report by Reuters that Mr. Trump warned Iran about an imminent attack Thursday night by sending a message to Tehran’s leaders through contacts in Oman. A senior administration official said the Pentagon did propose sending such a message but that John Bolton, the national security adviser, rejected the idea. It was not clear why Mr. Bolton objected.

This is not the first time that the United States and Iran have had conflicting accounts of American military actions near Iran.

On July 3, 1988, the Vincennes, a guided missile cruiser, shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people. The Defense Department initially denied that the Vincennes had shot it down. Then the Pentagon said that the Vincennes was in international waters and that the jet was descending toward the ship in a threatening manner. The Defense Department also said it radioed the plane repeatedly in warning.

The first two assertions turned out to be false and the last assertion irrelevant because the Navy was using a frequency rarely checked by passenger jets. In 1996, the United States, expressing “deep regret,” agreed to pay $61.8 million to the families of the people on the plane.

Also on Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order barring American airlines from flying in airspace controlled by Iran over the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The F.A.A. said the order was because of “heightened military activities and increased political tensions.”

Several carriers, including United Airlines and Lufthansa, a German airline, quickly suspended routes that fly through that airspace. United flies from Newark, N.J., to Mumbai along a route that takes the plane over Iran.


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