Donald Trump: “Iran Appears To Be Standing Down,” Signaling Possible De-Escalation

President Donald Trump, in his first lengthy remarks since Iran’s retaliation for the U.S.-ordered killing of one of its top military officials, said that the U.S. will impose additional economic sanctions, but did not announce further American military action.

“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, after noting that no American or Iraqi lives were lost in Iran’s missile strikes.

“All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained,” he said.

Cable and broadcast networks covered Trump’s address live, which was framed as a make-or-break moment that would either lead to a significant escalation of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran, or a signal of restraint. Trump called for NATO allies to get more involved in the Middle East. He gave no formal offer of negotiations with the Iranians, but he held out the possibility of seeking a deal with the regime.

“The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” Trump said.

Iran fired more than a dozen missiles on Tuesday that struck two air Iraqi bases where U.S. troops were stationed. Some took the absence of U.S. casualties as a sign that Iran intended the strike as a warning, calculated not to hit U.S. soldiers, rather than a step toward war.

“No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken,” Trump said in his address, made from the Grand Foyer of the White House.

He also accused the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama, of forging a nuclear deal with Iran that ended up releasing funds to the Tehran regime. He suggested that Iran used the money to fund the missile strike on Tuesday.

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