Vietnam war-era US whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, has claimed that President Donald Trump has a secret plan to provoke Iran into a confrontation that would allow Washington to respond with an attack on the country, and urged any person with knowledge of this alleged plot to come out and blow the whistle on the purported conspiracy.
"I believe, I have very little doubt, there is highly classified planning going on to provoke an Iranian action, a response to our provocation, that will give a pretext to launch an attack as [Donald Trump] has wanted to do for years", Ellsberg said.
Ellsberg cautioned potential whistleblowers from repeating his mistakes by waiting for too long to reveal the classified data and urged them to do so before the bombs start falling, describing such a move as an "act of patriotism [not] treason". He argued that the outgoing president still has enough time to set the plot in motion, but added that the public still has time to stop him.
"I think people who have access to that, I would encourage - I do encourage - you to share that information, not only with the Congress, especially the House, and for press, so that we have a chance of avoiding [conflict]", he summed up.
The whistleblower, who organised a leak of the so-called "Pentagon Papers" in Seventies, did not provide any evidence substantiating his claims that Trump has a plan of provoking Iran into a war with the US. Nor did he reveal any sources that tipped him off about it. However, Ellsberg expressed confidence that information about the plot exists in a file marked Top Secret or Classified.
Ellsberg went down in history after leaking thousands of pages of Pentagon documents to the press, showing that the US government knew from the start that it was nearly impossible for it to win the Vietnam War. The documents suggested that, despite knowing it could not win, the government refused to stop hostilities that resulted in the death of 59,000 servicemen, and left more than a million Vietnamese dead on both sides of the conflict. The Pentagon Papers are believed to have significantly undermined the US public's trust in the government and the president (Richard Nixon), since the official statements on the state of Vietnam War strongly diverged from the assessments made in the leaked classified documents.
Tehran Says Israel Plans to Drag US Into War With Iran
Relations between Iran and the US under Trump's administration were far from being friendly. Washington slapped numerous economic sanctions against Iran as a part of its "maximum pressure" policy, regularly deploying military ships to the Persian Gulf despite Tehran's protests, sending reconnaissance drones to its borders and killing one of the country's generals, Qasem Soleimani, while he was visiting Iraq.
The two countries have been on the verge of descending into a major military conflict at least twice over the past four years, but still managed to avoid starting a war. This, however, might change as, according to the claims of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Israel has been plotting to provoke the US into attacking Iran. He claimed to have received the intelligence from sources in Iraq and cautioned Washington against falling into the trap purportedly placed by Israel, without going into the specifics of the alleged provocation. Tel Aviv dismissed such claims as "nonsense".