Trump says Iran "appears to be standing down" following airstrikes in Iraq


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

16.57 8 Jan 2020


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Donald Trump says Iran appears to be 'standing down' - confirming that no Americans were injured in a series of airstrikes last night.

However, the US President also announced that the US will be imposing "additional punishing economic sanctions" on the Iranian regime.

It comes after two air bases in Iraq were targeted by Iran in several airstrikes.

American troops were based at the facilities, with the strikes carried out in retaliation for the US killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on Friday

There are no reports of any deaths or injuries after last night's attacks - with President Trump confirming no American or Iraqi troops were killed.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has described the attacks as a warning - insisting that the presence of the US in the Middle East has to end.

In remarks at the White House today, President Trump said only "minimal damage" had been caused by the overnight strikes.

He said: "We suffered no casualties - all of our soldiers are safe.

"Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world."

The US President again defended the US assassination of Soleimani - claiming he was the world's "top terrorist".

He argued: "Soleimani's hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood."

Issuing fresh warnings to Iran, Mr Trump also announced: "As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.

"These sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behaviour."

He said the US was ready to "embrace peace" with any country that wanted it, and that the US did not want to use its weapons.

He also called on the UK, Germany, Russia, China and France to "break away from the remnants" of the Iran nuclear deal - adding that he was "going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process".

Iranian ambassador to Ireland, Dr Masoud Eslami, spoke to The Hard Shoulder shortly after Mr Trump's speech.

He observed: "[Mr Trump] is not in a position to designate anybody in the world as a terrorist or otherwise.

"These are political accusations and designations which have no basis in international law, or any international norm of conduct."

He also suggested there was a "process of demonisation in order to cover up for the cruel assassination" of Soleimani.

Dr Eslami added: "There is no doubt there is a massive campaign of disinformation.

"General Soleimani's performance in fighting steadfastly against terrorism - particularly against Daesh [ISIS] and al-Qaeda - in our region is well on the record."


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