President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the White House on the ballistic missile strike that Iran launched against Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence and others looks on. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Trump announced his administration will hit Iran with new sanctions in the wake of its attack on two Iraqi military bases housing US troops, as well as in response to its broader aggression in the region.
“The United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime,” Trump said.
He noted that his administration is continuing to review other options to respond to the Iranian missile strikes.
“These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior,” Trump said. “In recent months alone, Iran has seized ships in international waters, fired an unprovoked strike on Saudi Arabia and shot down two American drones.”
President Trump ended his remarks on the Iran crisis, which lasted about 10 minutes, with a message to the people of Iran.
“Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran, we want you to have a future and a great future, one that you deserve,” 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,” Trump added.
He did not take questions as he left the room.
Trump said that since he took office “America has achieved energy independence.”
“We are now the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. We are independent and we do not need Middle East oil.”
President Trump criticized the Iran nuclear deal as “very defective.”
Iran announced Wednesday it was partially withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
“The very defective JCPOA expires shortly, anyway, and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout. Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism,” Trump said.
Trump called on other allies to “break away” from the deal
“We must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place,” he said.
Trump described the Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani killed in a US strike last week as “the world’s top terrorist.”
“He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of US troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims.”
Trump said Soleimani directed the recent attacks on US personnel in Iraq that “badly wounded four service members and killed one American” and he orchestrated “the violent assault” on the US Embassy on Baghdad.
“In recent days he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him,” Trump said.
President Trump said US forces are “prepared for anything,” but for now, “Iran appears to be standing down.”
“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world,” Trump said.
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.”
President Trump just began his remarks with this quote:
“As long as I’m President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.”