Last Thursday, President Donald J. Trump assembled senior advisers in the Oval Office to ask them whether he could take action against Iran’s most important nuclear weapons site within the coming weeks, The New York Times reported on Monday.
"A range of senior advisers dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike. The advisers — including Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — warned that a strike against Iran’s facilities could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency," according to the Times.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Nov. 11 that Iran’s uranium stockpile was 12 times bigger than permitted.
Trump's base would not likely support "a deeper American battle within the Middle East, nevertheless it might poison relations with Tehran in order that it might be a lot more durable for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, as he has promised to do," the Times reported.
Trump's dismissal of Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other Pentagon aides last week has also caused concern. Officers have privately expressed worry that the president would provoke military conflict, whether overt or secret, against Iran or other adversaries to make it more difficult for Biden to succeed.