Bolton made the request after three mortars were fired into Baghdad's diplomatic zone - where the US embassy is located - by Iran-affiliated militants, according to the Wall Street Journal.
An unnamed "former senior US administration official" said the request "definitely rattled people".
President Donald Trump's National Security Council, led by National Security Adviser John Bolton, asked the Pentagon to develop options for a military strike against Iran a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday citing unnamed current and former USA officials.
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.
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". The decision to seek options striking Iran was prompted by an incident in September in which three mortars were fired into a diplomatic quarter in Baghdad, the newspaper said.
According to the paper, Mira Ricardel, the former deputy national security adviser, described the attacks in Iraq as "an act of war", and said that the United States needed to respond accordingly.
A National Security Council spokesman told the newspaper the council "coordinates policy and provides the president with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats".More news: 'Mass Fentanyl Overdoses' Reported In California
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The mortars landed in an empty lot, and no injuries were reported.
The Pentagon complied with the National Security Council's request to develop options for striking Iran, the officials said.
Prior to his appointment, he has often urged for military action against the nation, and has since worked to pull the U.S. out of the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran with the support of President Trump.
There's no doubt that we could do plenty of damage to Iran if we chose to strike.
State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo did not comment on the story when asked about it by reporters and a State Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
That policy could change if Iran continues to threaten its neighbors in the region.