The Defense Department did draw up the plans, but it is unclear if they were presented to the White House, or if the president knew of Bolton's request, according to the Journal.
"It definitely rattled people", one former senior U.S. administration official told the WSJ.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, President Donald Trump's White House - led by national security adviser John Bolton - requested options from the Pentagon to launch an attack on Iran in September of past year.
What was known until now was that Mr Bolton's National Security Council also asked the military to present the White House with options for striking Iran as a way of countering Tehran's influence in the region.
The decision to consider striking Iran was prompted by an incident in early September, in which three mortars were fired into a diplomatic quarter in Baghdad.
The Journal, citing conversations with people familiar with the talks, also reported that the council requested options for launching strikes at both Iraq and Syria when they made the request for Iran.
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 USA needed to respond accordingly.
The Pentagon said it provides the president options for a variety of threats.
The shells landed in an open lot and no one was hurt.
Bolton, a hawk who previously served as ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, has been vocal about his support for a regime change in Tehran and the report of the military options against Iran highlight the more confrontational approach toward the Islamic Republic the administration has taken since he took the post at the NSC in April.
Asked about the report during his Middle East trip, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to comment.
The National Security Council asking for military strike options against the Middle Eastern nation in response to relatively minor incidents has caused some former United States officials to express alarm.
There's no doubt that we could do plenty of damage to Iran if we chose to strike.