US President Trump delivers a statement on the situation with Iran at the White House in Washington on Wednesday. Picture: Reuters
US President Trump delivers a statement on the situation with Iran at the White House in Washington on Wednesday. Picture: Reuters

US doesn't have to use its military power against Iran, says Trump

By Jeff Mason And Doina Chiacu Time of article published Jan 8, 2020

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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.

Iranian forces fired missiles at military bases housing US troops in Iraq on Wednesday in retaliation for the killing of

Iranian general Soleimani, raising the stakes in its conflict

with Washington amid concern about a wider war in the Middle

East.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, addressing a

gathering of Iranians chanting "Death to America", said the

attacks were a "slap on the face" of the United States and said

US troops should leave the region.

Iran's foreign minister said Tehran took "proportionate

measures" in self-defence and did not seek to escalate the

confrontation.

Trump again vowed that he would not allow Iran to obtain a

nuclear weapon and 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. 

Reuters

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