Trump pulls back from war with Iran
President Donald Trump pulled back from the brink of war with Iran on Wednesday, saying that Tehran appeared to be “standing down” after firing missiles — without causing casualties — at US troops based in Iraq.
In a televised address to the nation from the White House, Trump emphasized there were “no Americans harmed” in the ballistic missile salvo aimed at two bases.
While he promised to immediately impose “punishing” new economic sanctions on Tehran, Trump welcomed signs the Islamic republic “appears to be standing down” in the tit-for-tat confrontation.
The comments cooled what threatened to become an uncontrolled boiling over of tensions after Trump ordered the killing last Friday of a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani.
In New York, the Nasdaq stock market index surged to a record high of 9,129.24.
However, the US president, facing both an impeachment trial in Congress and a tough reelection in November, defended his targeting of a man seen by many as Iran’s second most influential official.
Soleimani, a national hero at home, was “the world’s top terrorist” and “should have been terminated long ago,” Trump said.
And although Trump ended his remarks with a call for peace, he opened by stating that he would never allow Iran to procure a nuclear weapon.
It was Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from a multinational agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the reimposition of crippling economic sanctions against Tehran, which began an intensification of tensions between the two countries.
– Missiles blast bases –
Iran’s missiles targeted the sprawling Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq and a base in Arbil, both housing American and other foreign troops from a US-led coalition fighting the remnants of the Islamic State jihadist group.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who earlier promised “revenge” for Soleimani, called the missiles a “slap in the face” against the United States.
He indicated there was more to come.
“The question of revenge is another issue,” Khamenei said in a televised speech…….read more