The Times said link that Trump, during a Wednesday morning meeting in the White House Situation Room, sent a message to his hawkish aides that he does not want the US pressure campaign against Iran to explode into open conflict.
“Trump was firm in saying he did not want a military clash with the Iranians,” the paper said, citing five senior officials who described the administration’s internal debate over Iran .
The account was also echoed by Reuters news agency which said Trump had communicated to his national security team and other aides to avoid an armed conflict.
“He doesn’t want to go to war. It’s not who he is,” said one official speaking on condition of anonymity.
The report cited anonymous officials informed on the matter as saying that Trump had privately expressed concern that some of his advisers, such National Security advisor John Bolton, were pushing for war.
Trump’s order comes a week after Bolton announced that the US was sending an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to counter a ‘threat’ from Tehran.
Hawks in Trump’s team, according to reports, have reportedly gone as far as drawing up plans for a possible military strike that could involve sending 120,000 soldiers to the Middle East.