All eyes are on the conflict between the United States and Iran, as President Trump has confirmed that he was prepared to launch strikes against Iran, but pulled back at the last minute.
Taking to Twitter, Trump said the US was in place to retaliate against Iran for downing a US military drone. But Trump said he asked how many people would die and a general told him 150. So he called off the strikes on three military sites, just 10 minutes before they were set to launch.
His statements fall in line with reports from officials who said Trump met with his top national security and congressional leaders at the White House, and he approved strikes on a handful of targets in Iran. But then the operation was called off at the last minute on Thursday night.
Trump claimed he is in no hurry to go to war, but he also said he intends to continue imposing sanctions on Iran with the goal that the country will never have nuclear weapons.
In addition to releasing footage that appears to show the remains of the US drone it shot down, Iran is also claiming that it chose a course of action that would save lives. The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard aerospace division said there was a US spy plane with 35 crew members on board, near the surveillance drone. But Iran chose not to shoot it down.
“At the same moment when this aircraft was being tracked, another spy aircraft called P8 was flying close to this drone. That aircraft is manned, and has around 35 crew members, well we could have targeted that plane, it was our right to do so, and yes it was American, but we didn’t do it. We hit the unmanned aircraft,” said General Amir Ali Hajizadeh.
He also said Iran issued four separate warnings to the US military in an attempt to alert its crew that it was flying in Iranian airspace, but the US did not respond. Meanwhile, another report claimed Trump sent a message to Iran overnight, warning that an attack from the US was imminent.
The anonymous Iranian official who was quoted, claimed that Trump said he was against war with Iran and wanted to talk about various issues, but he gave a short period of time for a response.
However, a spokesman for Iran’s National Security Council denied the reports, and said Iran did not receive any messages from the US. Iran also addressed the latest incident in a letter to the United Nations in which its ambassador called upon the international community to demand the US put “an end to its continued unlawful and destabilizing measures in the already volatile region of the Persian Gulf.”
While the US held off on launching strikes against Iran last night, it is still not clear whether it has decided to refrain from military force altogether, as Trump’s top officials continue to claim that all options are on the table.