The United States came very close to launching a retaliatory attack on Iran after a U.S. drone was shot down.
But President Donald Trump put a stop to the plan with just ten minutes until “go,” deciding that the potential loss of life would not have been a “proportionate” response.
But Iran isn’t off the hook. On Saturday, Trump announced that the U.S. will be imposing additional sanctions on Iran.
Trump Explains on Twitter
The retaliatory attack on Iran would have taken place on Thursday night. On Friday, the president explained his decision in a series of tweets.
“On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters,” Trump wrote. “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General.”
“10 minutes before the strike I stopped it,” Trump continued, “not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”
. . . And on NBC
In an interview with NBC, which will air in its entirety on Sunday, Trump went into a bit more detail. Host Chuck Todd asked whether the planes were still on the ground when the decision to call the attack off was made.
“Nothing is greenlighted until the very end, because things change,” said the president. “We had something ready to go, subject to my approval.”
“No, were about ready to go,” Trump continued. “No, but they would have been pretty soon. And things would have happened to a point where we wouldn’t turn back, couldn’t turn back.”
The president then went on to explain that 150 people would have died, saying, “I didn’t like it. I didn’t think it was proportionate.”
In making this decision, it appears that Trump overruled hawkish aides John Bolton, the national security advisor, Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, and CIA director Gina Haspel, among others. Those in the room said that Trump “agonized” over the decision.
“I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world,” Trump said in his tweets.
In place of a military strike, Trump said that more economic sanctions are being imposed on Iran. “Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD,” he concluded.