Washington – President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States did not necessarily have to use its military power against Iran, in an apparent attempt to defuse a crisis over the American killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.
In an address from the White House, Trump said no Americans were harmed in Iranian missile attacks on military bases housing US troops in Iraq and suggested Washington might not carry out immediate 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.
"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 stopped short of making any direct threat of military action against Iran, but said the United States "will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime" in response to what he called "Iranian aggression". He offered no specific measures.