War with Iran unlikely as Trump announces new sanctions

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Concerns about war with Iran rose sharply yesterday evening, but this morning, an avenue toward peace appears open. President Trump announced today that Iran appears to be backing away from conflict in the wake of Iranian missile strikes targeting U.S. forces stationed in Iraq Tuesday night.

“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned,” he said, in remarks from the White House this morning. “The American people should be extremely grateful and happy. No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime.”

After days of waiting for an Iranian response to the American drone strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite and secretive Al Quds Force, Iran launched as many as 22 short or medium range ballistic missiles at installations housing U.S. military troops in both Ain al-Assad and Erbil. When the news broke, many feared that the missile strikes would be the first volley of a new war between the United States and Iran, but as the dust settled, concerns about a new war began to dissipate. With no casualties reported and Iran publicly claiming that they sought no further escalation, it seemed Iran may have carefully planned their retaliation to allow for an avenue toward peace.

“All is well!” the president tweeted Tuesday night. “Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!”

“I will be making a statement tomorrow morning,” he said.

However, although it seems that war has been avoided, the United States still intends to respond to last night’s attack. President Trump announced today that the U.S. would establish new economic sanctions on Iran and called for America’s NATO allies to follow suit. These sanctions, while damaging to Iran’s economy, mark a clear de-escalation from the events of the past few weeks. The president also reaffirmed his vow not to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, indicating that America’s diplomatic issues with Iran remain far from over. None the less, diplomatic and economic engagement are a far cry from open war.

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

 

Feature photo courtesy of Shealah Craighead, White House

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Alex Hollings

Alex Hollings is a writer, dad, and Marine veteran.

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