President Donald Trump asked top advisers about a military strike on Iran's primary nuclear facility after an official report claimed the Islamic republic was stocking material used to develop a nuclear weapon.
Officials said that the president asked for options and "they gave him the scenarios and he ultimately decided not to push forward," Global News reported.
Trump's advisers warned him military action might create a bigger conflict, officials were quoted as saying. The White House didn't disclose any information.
Trump, who hasn't conceded defeat in the U.S. presidential election, made the request during an Oval Office meeting last week which included vice president Mike Pence, State Secretary Mike Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, sources said.
Trump has been aggressive with Iran during his presidency - including backing out of the 2018 nuclear accord negotiated by former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Trump said the nuclear deal was "defective at its core," and reimposed U.S. sanctions to force Iran's leaders to negotiate a replacement.
A report by a United Nations monitoring panel said Iran had finalized moving advanced nuclear centrifuges from an above-ground facility to one below the ground at its uranium enrichment plant - which is a violation of its 2015 nuclear agreement.
According to a U.S. official with knowledge of the meeting, a conflict with Iran "ends badly" for everyone. A military strike during the final weeks of Trump's presidency would conflict with his pledge to bring an end to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
President-elect Joe Biden's transition administration, which has not had access to U.S. national security intelligence as a result of the Trump administration's refusal to start proceedings, declined comment.