Less than a day after Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at bases in Iraq housing U.S. and coalition forces, President Donald Trump on Wednesday appeared to decide against further escalating a military confrontation with Iran.
“As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime,” Trump said in an address to the nation.
Sanctions, however, punishing, would represent a marked de-escalation of the current tensions between the United States and Iran, which began last week when an American drone killed top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
In response to the extrajudicial killing of Soleimani, Iran on Tuesday fired missiles at several Iraqi military bases known to house U.S. and coalition forces involved in the fight against ISIS.
But instead of announcing a stepped up military offensive, however, Trump used his prepared remarks on Wednesday to strike an uncharacteristically positive note.
“I’m pleased to inform you, the American people should be extremely grateful and happy,” Trump said. “No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. 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 continued. “No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces and an early warning system that worked very well.”