The United States and Iran pulled back from the brink of possible war after US President Donald Trump said he would not counterattack for the missile strikes of Iran on two US bases in Iraq.
In his televised address from the White House, Trump conveyed his aim to ease the conflict that rooted from his order to launch a lethal airstrike that targeted Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani. Iran, in response, fired over a dozen ballistic missiles at Iraq housing two US facilities.
“All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases,” Trump said.
Nonetheless, his impression of it was that “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.”
“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,” he added.
Moreover, Trump also encouraged the world to abandon a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran that Washington withdrew from in 2018 and work for a new one, a problem that has been at the heart of the escalating tension between Washington and Tehran.
Retreat from threats
In the meantime, there is still no immediate response to Trump’s remarks from Iranian officials. However, a semi-official Fars news agency described the US president’s comments as “big retreat from threats.”
On the other hand, Irananian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said their attacks were “slap on the face” of the United States and warned that US troops should leave the region.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, however, said the strikes “concluded” Tehran’s response to the killing of Soleimani, who was responsible for building up Iran’s network of substitute armies across the Middle East.
However, US officials said that the death of the Iranian military leader was because the forces under his command arranged attacks targeting the US, although they did not show evidence.
On Tuesday, before Soleimani was finally brought to his resting place, his body was taken on a procession around the cities of Iran and Iraq. This gathered a huge number of crowd, causing a stampede that killed 56 people and injured over 200 individuals.
Following the Iranian missile attack, Iranian state television showed some footage of his funeral, with people shouting “God is greatest” when the strikes were announced.
“His revenge was taken and now he can rest in peace,” the state TV said.
Clash between Iran and the US emerged after Trump pulled out from the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and reimposed sanctions on Tehran cutting its vital oil exports.
“We must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place,” he said.
During his speech on Wednesday, Khamenei ruled out any resumption of talks with Washington on the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Trump’s US political rivals have challenged his decision to order Soleimani’s killing and questioned its timing in a US election year.