United States President Donald Trump on January 8 while issuing an address at the White House announced that as long as he is the US President he will not allow a nuclear weapon to fall into Iran's hands. He further added that there were no casualties and minimal damage was inflicted in the Iranian missile strikes at two US-Iraqi airbases. In his address, Trump also added that Americans should be grateful and happy as they were not harmed.
Trump's statements come after the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq that houses the US and coalition forces were hit by multiple rockets during the wee hours on January 8. This incident was first reported by Iranian state TV, which described it as Tehran’s revenge operation over the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Qassem Soleimani. However, Trump asserted that US military eliminated “the world's biggest terrorist” Qassem Soleimani who was responsible for the worst atrocities.
According to Trump, Soleimani used to train terrorists including Hezbollah. “Soleimani directed the recent attacks on US personnel in Iraq and was planning new attacks on American targets. We stopped him. He should have been terminated long ago,” said the US President.
The United States will immediately impose powerful economic sanctions until Iran changes its behaviour and abandon its nuclear ambition, said the US President. Trump lashed out at Iran saying they created hell in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, though in many ways, the entire response by the US President entailed a sharp comedown. He said that Iran was given $150 billion in cash in the "defective" 2015 nuclear deal with which it created "hell”, and targeted the Obama administration for 'funding' the missiles that were used by Iran.
While Iran and the US have been at loggerheads for quite some time, their relationship took a turn for the worse after a US air raid on January 3 killed Quds Force chief General Soleimani, considered by many as the second most powerful figure in Iran. The Pentagon confirmed that the January 3 attack at the Baghdad International Airport was carried out at the direction of President Donald Trump. Along with General Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis- the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), an Iran-backed umbrella organization comprising several militias, was also killed.