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No US casualty in Iran missile attacks: Trump

(L) Iran TV shows launch of missile against US base in Iraq (R) President Donald Trump addresses the nation
REFRAINS FROM WARMONGERING; VOWS TO PUNISH IRAN WITH SANCTIONS
Less than a day after Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at bases in Iraq housing U.S. and coalition forces, President Donald Trump on Wednesday appeared to decide against further escalating a military confrontation with Iran.
“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,” Trump said in an address to the nation.
Sanctions, however, punishing, would represent a marked de-escalation of the current tensions between the United States and Iran, which began last week when an American drone killed top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
In response to the extrajudicial killing of Soleimani, Iran on Tuesday fired missiles at several Iraqi military bases known to house U.S. and coalition forces involved in the fight against ISIS. But instead of announcing a stepped up military offensive, however, Trump used his prepared remarks on Wednesday to strike an uncharacteristically positive note.
“I’m pleased to inform you, the American people should be extremely grateful and happy,” Trump said. “No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. Our great American forces are prepared for anything.”
“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world,” Trump continued. “No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces and an early warning system that worked very well.”
Trump defended the controversial U.S. decision to kill Soleimani while the general was visiting Iraq last week, calling him a “terrorist.” But the president stopped far short of threatening further military action.
“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,” Trump said. “These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior.” Trump also said US forces are “prepared for anything,” but for now, “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world”. Asserting that as long he was US President, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, he called it the “leading supporter of terrorism” and that it had “threatened the civilized world”.
Calling on Europe and other parties, such as Russia and China, to the 2015 Iran nuclear accord to abandon the deal and negotiate a new one, Trump said that he would ask Nato to “become much more involved” in the Middle East.
Even though Trump threatened Iran with additional sanctions, he also appeared to offer the Iranians an olive branch, signalling the United States does not seek a war with Tehran. “The US is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” Trump said.
The president signalled he was open to negotiations with Iran, an offer he has made at other times since pulling out of the multinational Iran nuclear accord in 2018. Tehran has rebuffed the overtures, saying it already negotiated a deal that the U.S. abandoned. Iran has also demanded a lifting of sanctions imposed under the Trump administration.
“We must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place,” Trump said. “We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential.”


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