I stopped a strike on Iran, says Trump

Reprisal move was for downing drone

June 21, 2019 09:42 am | Updated 11:02 pm IST

U.S. President Donald Trump. File

U.S. President Donald Trump. File

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he aborted a military strike on Iran because such a response to Tehran’s downing of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone would have caused a disproportionate loss of life.

In a series of early morning tweets, Mr. Trump said U.S. economic sanctions against Iran were having an impact and more were imposed late on Thursday, following the destruction of the U.S. drone by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.

Three sites were to be hit

Mr. Trump said the plan was to hit three different sites in response to the drone’s downing, and that he was told 150 people would have died. “Ten minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world,” he tweeted. Earlier, Tehran had received a message from Mr. Trump warning that a U.S. attack was imminent.

The message was delivered through Oman overnight. “In his message, Trump said he was against any war with Iran and wanted to talk to Tehran about various issues,” one of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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