The New York Times revealed on Monday that President Donald Trump asked his top advisers about the options for an attack on Iran during a meeting Thursday at the White House.
However, advisers have dissuaded Mr. Trump from such an attack, which risks escalating into a full-scale conflict in the final weeks of his rule.
According to the New York daily, which quotes four current and former officials, the meeting was held the day after the International Atomic Energy Agency's declaration (IAEA) that Iran has increased its stockpile of low enriched uranium.
In addition to the advisers, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the Acting Secretary of Defense and General Mark A. Milley were present at the meeting.
According to officials quoted by the newspaper, after Mr. Pompeo and General Milley described the risks of military escalation, officials left the meeting believing that a missile attack inside Iran was not was not an option.
President Trump may still be looking for ways to hit Iranian interests and allies, including militias in Iraq, officials say.
According to New York Times, a strike on Iran could make it much more difficult for President-elect Joe Biden to revive the Iran nuclear deal, as he pledged during the election campaign.
Since the sacking of Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other senior Pentagon officials last week, national security officials have expressed concern, in private, about operations, open or covert, launched against Iran or other countries by Mr. Trump by the end of his term.
The New York Times recalls that at the end of George W. Bush's tenure in 2008, an attack on Iran was also being debated at Israel's request. President Bush did not agree, but thanks to close collaboration between the two countries, a cyberattack on the Natanz plant destroyed 1,000 centrifuges, according to the New York Times.
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