Now, through a report just published by the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz and The Wall Street Journal, a former White House official who worked under the Trump Administration says that the White House had asked the Pentagon for a military plan to attack Iran back in September of a year ago.
The Defense Department did draw up the plans, but it is unclear if they were presented to the White House, or if the president knew of Bolton's request, according to the Journal.
The Jerusalem Post reports that the Pentagon was "rattled" by Bolton's inquiry and it's unknown whether any option for military action against Iran ever made it to the president's desk.
"It definitely rattled people", one former senior US administration official told the Wall Street Journal.
The White House's national security team asked the Pentagon to provide it with options for striking Iran, after a group aligned with Tehran fired mortars in September into an area in Baghdad that is home to the USA embassy, a USA newspaper reported.
"Over the past few days, we have seen life-threatening attacks in Iraq, including on the United States consulate in Basra and against the American embassy compound in Baghdad", the White House said in a statement at the time.
The decision was prompted by three mortars being fired into a diplomatic quarter in Baghdad in September, the newspaper said.
He added: "Sometimes it seems the world has become desensitised to the regime's authoritarianism at home and its campaigns of violence overseas, but the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government's many abuses".
Garrett Marquis, speaking for the National Security Council responded to the report by stating it 'coordinates policy and provides the president with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats'. The shells-launched by a group aligned with Iran-landed in an open lot and harmed no one.
The US blamed Iran for the attack, despite Tehran's categorical denial.
The National Security Council asking for military strike options against the Middle Eastern nation in response to relatively minor incidents has caused some former United States officials to express alarm.
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have risen significantly ever since Donald Trump's election as President.
He has worked with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in implementing a more hardline approach to Iran since taking office. "If they're responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we're going to go to the source".
Pompeo told Fox News that dozens of countries would attend the summit which would aim to "build out the global coalition" opposed to Iranian policies in the region.