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Trump Remarks about Iran Missles
1/8/2020
 
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The U.S. and Iran stepped back from the brink of possible war Wednesday, as President Donald Trump indicated he would not respond militarily after no one was harmed in Iran's missile strike on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. Speaking from the White House, Trump seemed intent on deescalating the crisis, which reached a new height after he authorized the targeted killing last week of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force. Iran retaliated overnight with its most direct assault on America since the 1979 seizing of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, firing more than a dozen missiles from its territory at the U.S. installations. Trump credited an early warning system "that worked very well" for the fact that no Americans or Iraqis were killed. He added that Americans should be "extremely grateful and happy" with the outcome. Trump, facing one of the greatest tests of his presidency, said Wednesday that Iran appeared to be "standing down" and said the U.S. response would be to put in place new economic sanctions "until Iran changes its behavior." The strikes had pushed Tehran and Washington perilously close to all-out conflict and put the world's attention on Trump as he weighed whether to respond with more military force. The Republican president delivered his remarks surrounded by his national security advisers in the foyer of the White House.It came after a late-night tweet in which he insisted "All is well" after the strikes. Iran, for days, had promised to respond forcefully to Soleimani's killing, but its limited strike on two bases one in the northern Iraqi city in Irbil and the other at Ain al-Asad in western Iraq appeared to signal that it was also uninterested in a wider clash with the U.S. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that the country had "concluded proportionate measures in self-defense." Trump, who is facing reelection in November, campaigned for president on a promise to keep the United States from engagingin "endless wars." Speaking Wednesday he said the United States is "ready to embrace peace with all who seek it." Trump opened his remarks by reiterating his promise that "Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon," even as that country announced in the wake of Soleimani's killing that it would no longer comply with any of the 2015 nuclear deal's limits on enrichment that had been put in place to prevent it from building a nuclear device. But he seized on the at least temporary moment of calm to call for new nuclear negotiations to replace the 2015 deal from which he withdrew the U.S., objecting that it didn't limit Iran's ballistic missile programs or constrain its regional proxy campaigns like those led by Soleimani. The president spoke directly to Iran, saying, "We want you to have a future and a great future."
  
 
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