Even as Iran’s president tried to tamp down soaring Tehran-Washington tensions, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he does not want a war with Iran but warned that if fighting does break out, it “wouldn’t last very long.” Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran “never seeks war” with the United States.
Trump also hinted that any conflict would be waged with air strikes, saying there would be no US boots on the ground.
In an interview on Fox Business Network, Trump was asked if America is going to go to war with Iran.
“Well, I hope we don’t but we’re in a very strong position if something should happen. We’re in a very strong position,” Trump said, a day after he warned that any further military action by Iran would result in an “overwhelming” US response and could result in “obliteration.”
“It wouldn’t last very long, I can tell you that. And I’m not talking boots on the ground,” Talking later with reporters outside the White House, Trump said Iran’s leaders would be “selfish and ... stupid” to reject cutting a new deal with his administration to replace the 2015 nuclear accord made under his predecessor Barack Obama, which Trump himself walked out of.
That step is widely seen as the genesis of steadily declining relations between the two countries over the past year.
“They have a country that’s in economic distress. It’s an economic disaster right now, they can solve it quickly or in 10 years from now,” he said. “I have all the time in the world. In the meantime, they have very strong sanctions.”
Earlier, Trump signed an executive order which he said will impose “hard-hitting” sanctions on Iran and deny the Iranian Supreme Leader and other officials access to financial instruments within the US jurisdiction.
“Sadly, the thing they do understand is strength and power, and the USA is by far the most powerful military force in the world, with 1.5 trillion dollars invested over the last two years alone,” he tweeted.
Trump said that the “wonderful Iranian people” are suffering, and for no reason at all.
“Their leadership spends all of its money on terror, and little on anything else. The US has not forgotten Iran’s use of IED’s & EFP’s (bombs), which killed 2,000 Americans, and wounded many more,” he said.
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Iran’s UN ambassador said on Monday that conditions were not ripe for a dialogue with the United States. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi told reporters that the United States must stop “its economic war against the Iranian people.”
“You cannot start a dialogue with somebody who is threatening you, who is intimidating you,” said Ravanchi. “The atmosphere of such a dialogue is not ready yet.” The ambassador spoke a few hours after the United States announced a raft of new sanctions that target Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and eight Iranian commanders.
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