Donald Trump has addressed the nation after Iran launched missile strikes on two bases in Iraq where U.S. forces were stationed, appearing to de-escalate the crisis by threatening additional sanctions on Iran but not immediate military retaliation.
“The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent,” he said.
Trump stopped short of making any direct threat of military action against Iran. He urged world powers including Russia and China to abandon the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and work toward a new agreement.
“We must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place,” he said.
“Iran appears to be standing down which is a good thing for all parties concerned,” Trump said, as Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the Joint Chiefs stood behind him.
“I’m pleased to inform you the American people should be extremely grateful and happy,” he said, noting that there were no casualties.
Only minimal damage was sustained, he said, adding “an early warning system that worked very well.”
The United States was ready to pursue peace with “all who seek it,” he said.