Washington: President Donald Trump asked for options on attacking Iran’s main nuclear site last week but ultimately decided against taking the dramatic step, a US official said.
The move came a day after a UN atomic watchdog report showed that Iran had finished moving a first cascade of advanced centrifuges from an above-ground plant at its main uranium enrichment site to an underground one, in a fresh breach of its nuclear deal with big powers.
Trump spoke with his top national security aides, including Vice President Mike Pence, his new Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, and General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding the move, the official said.
The official confirmed the account of the meeting in The New York Times, which reported that the advisers persuaded Trump not to go ahead with a strike because of the risk of a broader conflict.
The White House declined comment.
Trump has spent all four years of his presidency engaging in an aggressive policy against Iran, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, and imposing economic sanctions against a wide variety of Iranian targets.
A strike on Iran’s main nuclear site at Natanz could flare into a regional conflict and pose a serious foreign policy challenge for Biden.