In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, President Trump said the U.S. will pursue additional economic sanctions against Iran in the aftermath of missile attacks by the Middle East country against two American military installations in neighboring Iraq.
“As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never have a nuclear weapon,” Trump said.
Iran fired ballistic missiles from inside its borders overnight at the American military bases in response to the Trump administration’s authorization last week to use a drone strike near the Baghdad airport that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
The Trump administration began strengthening unilateral economic sanctions against Iran after he withdrew the U.S. from the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal. Trump has repeatedly faulted the effectiveness of the 2015 treaty.
The president urged the other country members of the JCPOA to abandon the treaty.
No further details were offered during his address or from administration officials on what form the new economic sanctions against Iran will take.
However, Trump said his administration is willing “to work a deal with Iran” to allow the country’s economy to thrive. “Iran can be a great country,” he said.
On Sunday, Trump threatened sanctions against Iraq after the country’s parliament approved a resolution over the weekend calling for the exit of U.S. and coalition forces from Iraq.
The U.S. has not had a comprehensive trade embargo against Iraq since the country invaded Kuwait in August 1990. After U.S. and coalition forces toppled the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003, which was followed by the former dictator’s execution by the new Iraqi government in 2006, the U.S. moved away from the complete embargo in order to help the war-torn country rebuild.