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Iran 'appears to be standing down', says US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump has delivered a statement after Iran fired 22 ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US and coalition troops.

The attack by Iran came in retaliation for when last week the US killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike. There are not believed to have been any casualties from the attack and only minor damage is understood to have impacted the bases.

Speaking in the White House's grand foyer, the US President began his statement by saying "Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon as long as I am president" before adding 'Good Morning'.

In what appeared to show the US now pursuing a diplomatic approach to resolving the current crisis in Iran, President Trump did not announce any major response by the US to the attack, except increased economic sanctions on Iran. 

Speaking about the late General Solemeinai, Mr Trump said he had been responsible for 'absolute worst atrocities', including the killing of thousands of US troops. He said that the general should have been terminated 'a long time ago' and said Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and support for terrorism.

He also said that Iran 'appears to be standing down', and he said that the American people should be 'extremely grateful and happy' that no Americans were harmed in the attack. Mr Trump reiterated the strength of the American military, and also that America did not want to use it, as he called for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis. 

The US President also called on European powers, Russia and China to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and to work together in order to agree on a new deal with Iran. 

Ending his statement, Mr Trump said the US is ready "embrace peace with all who seek it", adding "God bless America".

On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was questioned over the heightened tensions in the Middle East at the first PMQs of 2020. Mr Johnson, who was on holiday at the time of the killing of General Qassem Soleimani and had said little about the following crisis said that General Soleimani "had the blood of British troops on his hands" and that Iran should not repeat "these reckless and dangerous attacks" that were launched late on Tuesday.

 

Photo: US President Donald Trump speaking at the end of 2019 | Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr under licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)