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President Trump said the U.S. was ‘ready to embrace peace.’

President Trump said the U.S. was ‘ready to embrace peace.’

President Trump announced new economic sanctions against Tehran but did not call for more military action against the Iranians during his first formal public remarks about the conflict since ordering the drone strike of Iran’s most important general last week.

“Hence, The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” Mr. Trump said.

Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other military officials, the president did little to explain his reasoning for ordering the killing of General Suleimani.

Mr. Trump  also said “He should have been terminated long ago”.

Early Wednesday, the Iranians retaliated by launching more than 20 ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where Americans are posted. Mr. Trump said no Americans were killed.

The administration has cited vague intelligence threats against American interests to explain the decision to kill the Iranian general. But many have found its strategy and goals for Iran was conflicting and confusing. Mr. Trump was forced to walk back threats to target Iranian cultural sites after Mr. Esper made clear that such actions would be a war crime.

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“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,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday.

The United States already has crippling sanctions in place against Iran.

In June, Mr. Trump announced a new round in response to Tehran’s actions against tankers in international waters. And in the spring of 2019, the United States cut off revenues from Iranian oil experts, hitting directly at the heart of the country’s economy.
There were signs Wednesday that the United States and Iran have stepped back from the edge of a war.

The Iranian foreign minister said that his country had “concluded” its attacks on American forces and that it did “not seek escalation or war.” Iran fired more than 20 ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where United States troops are stationed.

The foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, posted the remarks on Twitter after Iran conducted the strikes in response to the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

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Senior Iraqi defense officials who work with the United States command said that no Americans or Iraqis had been killed in the attacks. In a short statement released on Wednesday morning, the Joint Command in Baghdad, which includes both Iraqi troops and soldiers from the international coalition, said that neither force “recorded any losses.”

Without American deaths from Iran’s missiles, Mr. Trump may not have felt the same pressure to punch back that he would have confronted with high troop casualties.

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