‘Iran appears to be standing down’: Trump to impose sanctions after missile strikes

By Rebecca Taylor and Lucia Binding, news reporters

Donald Trump has declared Iran is “standing down” from further military action after missile strikes on US bases in Iraq.
Mr Trump confirmed no US soldiers were harmed in the attacks which happened overnight, before he urged the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany to follow his lead and exit the Iran Nuclear Deal.

It comes just hours after Boris Johnson told MPs in the Commons that resurrecting the deal, the JCPOA, is the best way forward for solving the crisis in the Middle East.
In a statement, Mr Trump opened by telling reporters: “As long as I am president of the US, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.”

Full speech: Trump’s statement on Iran
He said that Americans should be “extremely grateful and happy” as he confirmed no US personnel were harmed by the attacks.

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He continued: “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.”

Mr Trump has made no secret of his hatred of the Iran Nuclear Deal, and pulled the US out of it in March 2018.

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He said: “For far too long – all the way back to 1979 to be exact – nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilising behaviour in the Middle East and beyond. Those days are over.”
Addressing the other signatories on Wednesday, he said: “The very defective JCPOA expires shortly anyway and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout.
“Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism.
“The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China to recognise this reality.
“They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal – or JCPOA – and we must all work together towards making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place.”

Mr Trump took personal responsibility for the US drone strike which killed Major General Qassem Solimani last week, saying it happened “at my direction” and calling him a “ruthless terrorist”.
He echoed the words of Mr Johnson in the Commons during PMQs, saying: “His hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood.”
The US president accused Iran of going on a “terror spree” with the money from the deal and said they chanted “Death to America” when they should have been thanking them.

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Mr Trump also confirmed there would be further sanctions on Iran and they will be in place until Iran changes it behaviour.
He announced he will go to NATO to ask them to be “much more involved in the Middle East process”, before claiming America does not need Middle East oil because of the strength of the economy since he came into office.
Mr Trump said he did not want to use the full strength of the American military and urged Iran to work with the US on the shared ambition of destroying IS.
He closed by telling the people of Iran that he wants them to “have a great future, that you deserve” and that “the United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it”.

Image: Boris Johnson struck a different tone to his American counterpart
It comes after Mr Johnson split from his American counterpart and defended the Iran Nuclear Deal, saying: “It is our view that the JCPOA remains the best way of preventing nuclear proliferation in Iran, the best way of encouraging the Iranians not to develop a nuclear weapon.
“And we think that after this crisis has abated, which, of course, we sincerely hope it will, that way forward will remain. It is a shell that is currently being voided, but it remains a shell into which we can put substance again.”

Source : Sky News