President Donald Trump addressed the nation on Wednesday morning regarding recent ballistic missile attacks from Iran that targeted Iraqi military bases that housed American soldiers.
Many feared that the president may escalate tensions between Tehran and Washington in response to those attacks. But it appeared, at least for now and in wake of no casualties from the missile attack, that Trump was stepping back from taking further military action.
“The American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime,” Trump said in his remarks. He also recognized that Iran, after launching its attack on Tuesday, appeared to be de-escalating its military plans for the future as well, which is “a good thing for all parties concerned,” the president added.
Flanked by his cabinet and leaders of the armed forces, Trump maintained that the United States would not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon of any kind. “We will never let that happen,” Trump said.
The ballistic missile attacks came about after Trump ordered the assassination of the top military leader in Iran last week, Qasem Soleimani. The president justified killing Soleimani by saying in his remarks on Wednesday that he was “planning new attacks on American targets.”
President Trump says Iran appears to be standing down after strike at military base, announces additional sanctions unless Iran "changes its behavior." https://t.co/vcKLRE92au
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 8, 2020
The missile attacks required response, Trump maintained.
“As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime,” he said.
Trump also argued in favor of more international help in the region, calling on NATO to become more involved with missions to combat terrorism. In spite of being critical of an international deal that his administration stepped away from, he also called on a new deal with Iran to be developed, involving a number of other nations.
“We must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place,” Trump said.
Trump took the opportunity to be critical of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, making a claim (without proof) that the missiles used in Tuesday’s attack were “paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,” he said.
He also said his administration had rebuilt the military, but that didn’t mean the military had to be used to respond to Iran’s actions this week.
“The fact that we have this great military and equipment does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it,” Trump said.