In his first statement after Iran launched a dozen missiles against Ain al-Asad airbase and another installation hosting US and coalition forces, President Donald Trump late on Wednesday said that Tehran will never be allowed to have nuclear weapon.
Stating that Iran should abandon its nuclear ambition, Trump asserted that as long as he is the President of United States, the rival nation will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.
Speaking on the missile attack that targeted two bases housing US troops in Iraq, Trump said “no Americans were harmed” in the strikes.
“We suffered no casualties. All our soldiers are safe, only minimal damages were sustained at our military bases,” the US President said in his address.
Iran state television had earlier in the day claimed that at least 80 “American terrorists” were killed in the missile strike, an attack that Iran swiftly took responsibility for.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Wednesday that it had carried out missile strikes on bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation to the killing of General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi top commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
US President Donald Trump further said that although his country has great military and equipment, it does not want to use it.
“We are constructing many hypersonic missiles. 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,” he said.
Hours after the missile strikes, President Donald Trump had tweeted that “all is well” while asserting that America has “the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world”.
“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning, (sic)” Trump tweeted.
The president further said that Iran appeared to be “standing down” after the missile strikes on US troop bases which he termed a “good thing for all parties concerned” and added that “no American or Iraqi lives were lost”.
Speaking on the deceased top commander, Trump said “Soleimani was responsible for the absolute worst atrocities including civil wars”. “He killed thousands of US troops. He directed the recent attacks on US personnel in Iraq. He orchestrated the violent assault on US embassy in Baghdad. He was planning new attacks, but we stopped him,” he added.
“Foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013. Instead of saying thank you to the US they chanted Death to America the day the deal was signed,” he further said adding that “funds made available by the last regime were used to plan the attack on US military personnel on Tuesday”.
Donald Trump also called for international cooperation. He said that countries part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should break away from the nuclear deal. He also urged Europe, China, Russia and other countries to break away from the nuclear deal.
“The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran. The leaders of Iran, we want you to have a great future that you deserve,” he said.
Trump, however, called for harsher sanctions against Iran but made no mention of possible retaliation to Tuesday’s missile attacks. He said that the US will impose new economic sanctions against Iran, while it continues to evaluate possible responses to Iran’s aggression.
The remark is seen by experts as a measured first response by Iran to the killing of General Qasem Soleimani in an American drone strike.
Donald Trump further stated that the US does not need the Middle East’s oil as it has become the largest producer of oil in the world.
Ending his 10-minute long statement with a message to Iran and its leaders, Trump said: “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned. Peace and stability cannot prevail in Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment terrorism.”
“We want you to have a great future. US is ready to embrace peace,” he told the Iranian leadership and people.
Tensions between the US and Iran escalated as General Qasem Soleimani was killed along with seven others after Trump ordered an airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the Baghdad International Airport road.
The White House in a statement on Friday had said that at the direction of the President, the US military took a “decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad” by killing Qasem Soleimani.
It added that General Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region”.