In an address delayed by about twenty-five minutes, U.S. President Donald Trump gave a strong warning to Iran over its nuclear ambitions and terror-sponsoring activities. Yet he held out the hope for peace with a responsible and non-aggressive Iran.
Trump was flanked by Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary Esper, Secretary of State Pompeo, and the U.S. military Joint Chiefs of Staff (the Army attired in their new retro “pinks and greens” WWII era uniforms)
Sunlight streaming through the doors as he walked to the podium, showing excellent use of stagecraft, the president began by pledging Iran would never gain nuclear weapons on his watch.
Trump went on to stress no lives were lost, on either side, due to last night’s Iranian missile attack on U.S. forces in Iraq. In an eloquent Kiplingesque choice of tone, he twice referenced “the civilized world” in speaking of what the U.S. will protect and what Iran has an opportunity to join. He said that the Iranians seem to be standing down.
The president announced new economic sanctions against Iran, hit the Obama administration on its last-minute cash transfer to the Iranian terrorist regime, referenced protests inside Iran, and asked NATO allies to play a larger role in the matter by finally rejecting the outmoded and dangerous Iranian Nuclear Treaty.
President Trump noted that the U.S. under his leadership has become energy independent and thus not reliant on Middle Eastern states for oil. He reiterated, as he has during his campaign rallies, that the U.S. military has been rebuilt to the tune of over $2 billion and is at its strongest point in history.
He closed with recalling how in October U.S. forces eliminated ISIS thug Abu Bakr-al-Baghdadi, whom he termed a “monster”, and let that sink in as a lesson to the Iranians, and indeed to the world, as to his resolve in protecting Americans and American interests.
The president concluded by holding out the potential for peace if Iran would join the rest of the civilized world.
Donald Trump then left the podium as he came in, sunlight streaming through the doors.