President Trump announced “powerful” economic sanctions on Iran and warned the regime against continuing its hostile actions.
The president warned that Iran’s campaign of “terror” and “mayhem” will not be allowed to continue, as he delivered an address Wednesday from the Grand Foyer at the White House, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and several military leaders.
(Video: Fox News)
With the strong optics of the officials behind him, Trump delivered his first public comments just hours after Iran launched more than a dozen missiles on the joint US-Iraqi Al-Asad airbase on Tuesday,
“As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” Trump began his address before noting that no Americans were hurt in yesterday’s attack and Iran “appears to be standing down.”
“We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases,” he said.
“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,” he said as he praised the “incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform.”
He also noted that Iran’s “standing down” was a “good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.”
“For far too long, all the way back to 1979 to be exact, nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and beyond,” Trump said.
“Those days are over,” he said, adding that Iran’s “pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world.”
He spoke about the “decisive action” by the U.S. in the airstrike that killed Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, described by the president as a “ruthless terrorist.”
“In recent days he was planning new attacks on American targets. But we stopped him,” Trump said, adding that it was a powerful message to other terrorists: “If you value your own life you will not threaten the lives of our people.”
Though he didn’t specify how new sanctions would be applied against Iran, the president said they “will remain until Iran changes its behavior.” He also announced that he would be asking NATO allies to become “much more involved” in the Middle East.
“Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism,” he said, calling on America’s European allies to break from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
Trump also addressed the people of Iran and its leaders directly, appearing to extend an olive branch.
“We want you to have a future, and a great future, one that you deserve – one of prosperity at home and harmony with the nations of the world,” he said. “The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”
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