No Americans were injured in the Iranian strikes Tuesday on two Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops, President Trump said in a White House statement Wednesday. He also said Iran “appears to be standing down” after launching the missiles, and he announced new sanctions against the country.
In the statement, Trump sought to justify last Friday’s drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Quds Force. Soleimani, Trump said, was “the world’s top terrorist.” He addressed the justification for the timing of the strike against him. “In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him,” Trump said. “He should have been terminated long ago.”
Trump also announced new sanctions on the Iranian regime, which he said will remain “until Iran changes its behavior,” and called on U.S. allies to follow his lead and abandon the JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal.
Despite Trump’s claim that Iran seems to be “standing down” after Tuesday’s missile attack, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the strikes a “slap in the face” to the U.S. and suggested that more could be coming.
“Military operations do not suffice,” he said Wednesday, according to NBC News. “What is important in addition to retaliation is to end the U.S.’s corrupting presence in the region. The discussion about revenge is something else. This was just a slap in the face last night.”
In a statement following the strike, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq called on the U.S. and Iran to respect Iraqi sovereignty. Iraq, Abdul Mahdi said in a statement, “rejects any violation of its sovereignty and aggression on its lands, and the government continues its efforts to prevent escalation and that all parties should respect the sovereignty of Iraq and not endanger its people.”