President Donald Trump said Wednesday the United States will punish Iran with more economic sanctions, with no mention of any plans for stepping up military actions amid tensions between the two countries.
On Tuesday evening, more than two missiles fired by Iran struck the Al-Assad and Irbil Airbases in Iraq. The targeted airbases hosted American troops. No casualties have been reported.
Though flanked by military officials, Trump sent a signal that, for now, the U.S. doesn't want to escalate what Iran has described as war between the nations following a U.S. military strike that killed a top Iranian military official and a response from Tehran that involved a missile attack on U.S. facilities, in which Trump said no American troops were injured.
"Iran appears to be standing down," Trump said, calling that "a good thing for the world.
"The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it," Trump said.
Trump earlier had said the U.S. could attack more than 50 culturally important Iranian sites. Trump touted American military strength, but said "we do not want to use it."
The president also said moving toward "making a deal with Iran" would be good, but vowed that the U.S. won't tolerate Iran developing a nuclear weapon.
"As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon," Trump said to open his brief remarks at the White House.
While making it clear that he wants new "punishing economic sanctions" rather than further military escalation, Trump didn't elaborate on what new sanctions might be considered.
Trump also said he wants NATO to become "much more involved' in the region, but again, without specifics.
U.S. stock futures fell more than 400 points in overnight trading following Iran's attacks, but have rebounded into positive territory in Wednesday's session.