President Trump made it abundantly clear in his address to the nation Wednesday morning that Iran’s free reign of terror throughout the Middle East was over, but the United States would not be retaliating militarily against the Islamic Republic following their missile strikes on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.
“For far too long, all the way back to 1979 to be exact, nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and beyond,” Trump said from the Grand Foyer in the White House, flanked by members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “Those days are over.”
As the president began his address to the nation Wednesday morning, he stressed that his administration would not allow the Islamic Republic to have nukes.
“As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” Trump said forcefully.
The president confirmed that no American or Iraqi lives were lost in the missile strikes Tuesday night.
“All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases,” he assured the nation, explaining that the damage was minimal “because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well.”
De-escalating the situation, he also noted that “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned, and a good thing for the world,” Trump said.
Trump went on to say that Iran had been the leading sponsor of terrorism and their “pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world” and that his administration will impose new sanctions on Iran in response to the attack.
“These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes it’s behavior,” Trump said.
As he has done before, Trump called on the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China to “break away” from the last administration’s “foolish” 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.
Also, the president said he plans to ask NATO allies to “become much more involved in the Middle East process.”
Taking a swipe at the Obama administration, Trump said “the missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.”
And he touted the U.S. economy, American energy independence and a stronger military under his leadership.
“Over the last three years under my leadership, our economy is stronger than ever before and America has achieved energy independence,” Trump boasted. “This historic accomplishments changed our strategic priorities—these are accomplishments that nobody thought were possible.”
Trump pointed out that the United States is now the number one producer of natural gas in the world. “We are independent and we do not need the Middle East oil,” he said, adding that the U.S. military has been completely rebuilt and U.S. armed forces are stronger than ever before.”
He added, “our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast,” and noted that many more hypersonic missiles were under construction.
The president stressed that the United States has no intention of using its renewed strength to start any wars.
“We do not want to use it,” he said.
Speaking directly to the Iranian people and their leaders, Trump said that the U.S. wants them to have a “great future, one that you deserve – 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.”