A Iran Air Force F-7 Airguard in Vahdati Airbase Air Show.
The request came after militants, reportedly backed by Iran, fired rockets toward the U.S. consulate in Basra and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's diplomatic green zone in September.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that following a mortar attack on the USA embassy in Baghdad in September that was blamed on Iran, National Security Adviser John Bolton asked the Pentagon for options to strike the Islamic Republic. The shells-launched by a group aligned with Iran-landed in an open lot and harmed no one.
The report states, "As part of the talks, Mr. Trump's National Security Council, led by John Bolton, asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran".
It added that the NSC also requested options to respond with strikes in Iraq and Syria. The request generated concern at the Pentagon and State Department, current and former US officials told the newspaper. "People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran", former United States high-ranking official told The WSJ.
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In one meeting, Bolton's then deputy Mira Ricardel, who was forced out of her job in November after a feud with First Lady Melania Trump, described the attacks in Iraq as "an act of war" and said the U.S. had to respond decisively, according to one person familiar with the meeting.
He said the Pentagon's activities include "routinely reviewing and updating plans and activities to deal with a host of threats, including those posed by Iran, to deter and, if necessary, to respond to aggression".
While Bolton's approach has seen him butt heads with a number of people in Trump's Cabinet - most notably former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis - he has found an ally in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"The United States will hold the regime accountable for any attack that results in the injury to our personnel or damage to United States' government facilities" the White House said.
Previously Mr Bolton has advocated for military strikes against Iran. In 2015, while working for a think tank, he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times titled "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran".