President Donald Trump said on June 21 that there’s no rush to strike Iran, following reports sourced to anonymous officials that the president ordered a military strike against Iran after it shot down an American drone but called it off at the last moment.
Trump took to Twitter on Friday morning to explain his thinking.
“President Obama made a desperate and terrible deal with Iran—Gave them 150 Billion Dollars plus 1.8 Billion Dollars in CASH! Iran was in big trouble and he bailed them out. Gave them a free path to Nuclear Weapons, and SOON,” Trump started.
“Instead of saying thank you, Iran yelled Death to America. I terminated deal, which was not even ratified by Congress, and imposed strong sanctions.”
The president said Iran is weaker now than it was at the beginning of his presidency, and is causing fewer problems for other countries in the Middle East.
“On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights [sic] when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it,” he explained.
The response would not have been proportionate in retaliation for an unmanned drone, the president said. The day prior, he told reporters in the Oval Office: “We didn’t have a man or woman in the drone. It would have made a big, big difference.”
On Twitter, he said the American military is superior to any other country’s military and that he’s currently adding additional sanctions against Iran.
“I am in no hurry,” he said. “Our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!”
The missives came after a slew of reports emerged late Thursday and early Friday claiming that Trump ordered military strikes before, at the last second, reversing the order.
The reports all relied on anonymous sources.
A source within the Trump administration was said to have relayed the concerns of some officials that the reported military strikes could have killed hundreds of civilians in Iran.
The strikes were said to have targeted radar and missile batteries, among other targets.
“The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said,” the Times reported. “No government officials asked The New York Times to withhold the article,” it added.
The tensions between Iran and the United States have been building for years, as Trump pulled America out of a nuclear deal crafted by former President Barack Obama that was not ratified by Congress and in its place levied sanctions against the country.
Then Iran shot down an American drone, claiming it was in its airspace. American officials said the drone was in international airspace.
“I find it hard to believe it was intentional,” he said.
“I have a big, big feeling” that someone made a mistake, he added. Whoever did it was “loose and stupid,” he said.
Asked what the U.S. response would be, he said: “You'll find out.”