'The Trump administration says military action against Iran could be possible should US sanctions against the country fail to curb Tehran from threatening Washington's interests.
The threat by Brian Hook, the US State Department's director of policy planning and head of Iran Action Group, on Thursday came a day after Tehran asserted that it did not seek a war with any other nation.
"We have been very clear with the Iranian regime that we will not hesitate to use military force when our interests are threatened," Hook said.
"I think right now, while we have the military option on the table, our preference is to use all of the tools that are at our disposal diplomatically," he said.
He was speaking at a press conference at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, DC in response to a question on possible next steps the US could take against Iran in its maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.
Hook spoke at an event held to display pieces of what he claimed were Iranian weapons and military equipment handed over to the US by Saudi Arabia.
Outgoing US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held a similar event in the same location last November, displaying what she alleged scraps of a missile given by Iran to Yemen's Houthis.'
Read more: US official: Military action on the table against Iran