January 8, 2020 / 6:24 PM / 9 days ago

Highlights: Trump addresses Iran situation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday gave a national address on the escalating tensions with Iran, hours after Iranian forces fired missiles at military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq. The attack was in retaliation for the American killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani.

ATTACK ON MILITARY BASES

“I’m pleased to inform you the American people should be extremely grateful and happy. No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.

“Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.”

U.S. STRENGTH

“Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast. Under construction are many hypersonic missiles. 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.”

CREATING A NEW IRAN DEAL

“Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the United Kingdom, Greece, 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.”

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a statement about Iran as U.S. Army Chief of Staff General James McConville and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley listen in the Grand Foyer at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

SANCTIONS

“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 powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behaviour.”

NATO

“The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer. It will not be allowed to go forward. Today I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process.”

Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Doina Chiacu; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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