President Donald Trump said he wasn’t looking for war with Iran, but if it came Iran would face “obliteration like you’ve never seen before.”
What’s the background?
On Thursday morning, Iran shot down an American RQ-4A Global Hawk drone. Iran claimed that the drone had violated its airspace. The U.S. has insisted that it was over international waters and called this an “unprovoked attack.”
The same day, Trump prepared to launch a counterstrike against Iran. However, just minutes before the attack was going to be carried out, he called it off. In a tweet, he said that he had decided against the strike after a general told him that 150 people would be killed.
What did Trump say?
During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump described the moments leading up to his decision. He said that despite previous reports, American planes had not been in the air before the attack was called off.
“I’m not looking for war, and if there is, it’ll be obliteration like you’ve never seen before. But I’m not looking to do that. But you can’t have a nuclear weapon. You want to talk? Good. Otherwise you can have a bad economy for the next three years,” he said.
He added that Iran could be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. “And if you want to talk about it, good. Otherwise you can live in a shattered economy for a long time to come.” With the exception of nuclear weapons, he said he would be ready to meet with Iran with no preconditions.
Trump also said that he thought Iran wanted to make a deal.
President Trump’s Full, Unedited Interview With Meet The Press | NBC News