US to impose fresh sanctions on Iran after base strike

9 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump says the US will immediately impose new sanctions on Iran in response to its missile attacks on military bases in Iraq that house American troops.

In an address to the nation Wednesday, Trump said the United States would immediately be imposing “additional punishing sanctions” on Iran but made no mention of military retaliation to the missile attacks — seen by experts as a measured first response by Iran to the killing of General Qasem Soleimani in an American drone strike in Baghdad, reports AFP.

Trump said those new “powerful sanctions” will remain until Iran abandons its nuclear ambitions and ends its support for terrorism.

Trump also claimed that all of the US soldiers were safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.

“Our great American forces are prepared for anything,” he said in an address to the nation from the White House.

At the same time, Trump says the United State is “ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”

Launched for the first time by forces inside Iran instead of a proxy, the missile attack marked a new turn in the intensifying confrontation between Washington and Tehran and sent world oil prices soaring.

Trump touted economic achievements that he said had made the US less dependent on Middle Eastern oil, changing Washington’s “strategic priorities” in the region.

Trump also said he would ask NATO to become more involved in the Middle East. That seems to indicate continued US involvement in the region despite Trump’s desire to withdraw troops from what he calls “endless wars.”

“Today I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process,” he said.

He also called for world powers to follow his lead in withdrawing last May from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

The agreement is already unraveling, with Tehran announcing on Sunday that it would roll back the limit on the number of centrifuges used in uranium enrichment, one of its commitments under the agreement.

“The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality. They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal, or JCPOA,” Trump said.

“We must all work together towards making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place.”