President Donald Trump responded to Iran’s retaliatory strike on Iraqi military bases by calling for world leaders to unify against Iranian aggression and develop a new nuclear deal.
Speaking to the nation on Wednesday morning, Trump said the United States would be willing to make peace with Iran if the country’s leadership changed its behavior.
He announced that the Iranian strike late Tuesday resulted in no deaths of American or Iraqi service members, adding, “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned.”
In response to Iran’s missile strike, Trump vowed to impose a new round of sanctions on Iran until it ends its aggressive behavior.
He also blamed the existing nuclear deal for enabling Iran to ramp up its aggression, citing the unfreezing of billions of dollars of Iranian funds that occurred when the agreement was signed.
“Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash. Instead of saying ‘thank you’ to the United States, they chanted ‘death to America.’ In fact, they chanted ‘death to America’ the day the agreement was signed. Then, Iran went on a terror spree, funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.”
Noting that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — the original nuclear deal — expires soon, Trump called for world powers to abandon the current agreement and work to develop a replacement deal that “makes the world a safer and more peaceful place.”
Trump urged Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions and state sponsorship of terrorism. And he called on world leaders to send a “clear and unified message” to Iran.
“The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer. It will not be allowed to go forward.”
Additionally, Trump said he would ask NATO members to “become more involved” in the Middle East.
Signaling that he would like to de-escalate the situation, Trump said that while the U.S. has a “great military,” he does not want want to see further military escalation.
“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.”
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In closing, Trump signaled that he would like to make peace with Iran if that country’s leaders change their behavior.
“Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran, we want you to have a future,” Trump said. “One of prosperity at home and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”
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