Two US military bases in Iraq were attacked early on 8 January with Iranian missiles in an act of retaliation for Washington’s operation that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani on 3 January in Baghdad.
In his address to the nation, US President Donald Trump said that no US military personnel were hurt in the Iranian missile attack on its bases in Iraq on 8 January, while the bases themselves sustained “minimal” damage. He noted that this was due to precautions that were taken, the “dispersal of forces”, and an early warning system.
The POTUS further announced that the US would impose “new powerful economic sanctions” against Iran in light of the attack against the American military bases. He added that the sanctions would remain until Iran “changes its behaviour” on the international arena. The US president stated that he would ask NATO to be “much more involved” in the process in the Middle East.
While Trump didn’t explicitly promise any action against Tehran apart from sanctions over the missile attack on 8 January, he put great emphasis on the modernisation that the US military has undergone under his presidency. The POTUS namely boasted that US Armed Forces possess “big and accurate” missiles, but added that he hopes not to use them against Iran.
“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. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent”, he said.
Instead, Trump suggested reaching a new deal with Iran that would make “the world a safer and more peaceful place”, while at the same time benefiting the Islamic Republic itself.
“We want you to have a future, and a great future – one that you deserve. One of prosperity at home and harmony with the nations of the world. The US is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it”, POTUS said.
Trump also commented on the US killing of Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, claiming that the US had information about him planning attacks for 4 January. The president added that this became the driving force behind the decision to kill the Iranian general.
This makes no sense. Sanctions are economic warfare.
They have already caused medical shortages and countless deaths in Iran.
You cannot claim to want deescalation and then announce new sanctions with no clear goal. This is not a measured response! https://t.co/sGWtwXuNDT
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 8, 2020
Direct, firm, and peaceful engagement with Iran is more likely to bring about positive change than are further sanctions and warfare.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 8, 2020
Iran basically offered an exit ramp to Trump (a high-profile and flashy attack but with no casualties) and Trump took it.
No escalation today. A relief for all in region.
— Negar Mortazavi (@NegarMortazavi) January 8, 2020
Iran just punched back the biggest bully on the block and the bully is stepping away. The US war on Iran continues with more sanctions, but this is a strategic victory for Iran and marks a turning point in the US empire's ability to impose its will without consequences.
— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) January 8, 2020