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Trump says he canceled strikes against Iran in extremis

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY/VOP NEWS) — Donald Trump said on Friday he canceled strikes against Iran at the last minute to avoid a heavy human toll, while maintaining his threats of retaliation against Tehran who shot down an American drone.

In a series of morning tweets, the President of the United States gave a detailed account of Thursday evening, giving an unprecedented – and very personal – of his decision on this issue to heavy military and strategic issues.

“We were armed and ready to fight back last night against three different sites when I asked how many (people) were going to die,” he said. “150 people, sir, was the answer of a general, 10 minutes before the strike, I stopped it, it was disproportionate compared to an attack on a drone”.

He later assured, on NBC, that American planes had not taken off when he made his decision. “But they would have been in the air quickly (…) and things would have come to a point where we could not have gone back”.

President Trump reiterated that he did not want the war with Iran but that if it broke out it would cause “an annihilation as we have never seen before”.

Despite repeated claims by the United States and Iran that they are not seeking war, the escalation and escalation of incidents in the Gulf region is raising fears that a spark will ignite the powder.

And the destruction of a US Navy drone by Iran has caused a new bout of fever between the two enemy countries.

It is in this context that the White House announced Friday night that Mr. Trump has appointed Mark Esper to be the new Minister of Defense, which has yet to be validated by the Senate. He was appointed Tuesday acting head of the Pentagon, role played by Patrick Shanahan since December 2018 but who withdrew for family reasons.

– “Debris” of drone –

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi sent an “emergency” message to the United States via Switzerland, saying his country was not seeking war but would “resolutely defend its territory against aggression”.

The Swiss embassy in Tehran represents US interests in the absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries since 1980.

“For me, the situation is already worrying because the economic state of the country is bad, and the possibility of a war scares me.But the Americans are not leaving them either for a war, because we live in a particularly strategic region, “said Amir, a trader interviewed by AFP in Tehran.

The Iranian state television broadcast images presented as those of the “debris” of the drone destroyed, aligned on the ground or on displays.

“The floating debris was recovered by the naval forces and transferred as you see in Tehran,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said on television.

According to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace force leader, the country’s ideological army, Iran issued two warnings before shooting down the drone.

For Aaron David Miller, a former US diplomat and negotiator in several Democratic and Republican administrations, Trump’s “just” decision not to launch strikes only repels the problem, it does not solve it. “Without real efforts to try to tidy up the disastrous US-Iran relations, a military escalation is only a matter of time,” he tweeted.

– Congress gives voice –

In the face of escalation, several airlines such as KLM and Lufthansa followed American companies in deciding to avoid flying over the Arabian Sea and the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic crossing point for the world’s oil supply. Gulf region.

In Washington, Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, said he was “relieved” that Donald Trump gave up strikes but insisted on the need for the president to have congressional approval before launching a military offensive against Iran.

Tensions have been mounting since the American withdrawal in May 2018 of the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear energy followed by the reinstatement of heavy US sanctions against Iran, depriving Iran of the economic benefits it expected from the pact.

They have intensified with recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf region, blamed by Washington on Tehran.

The United States has just further strengthened its military posture in the Middle East while further friction is expected with the announcement by Iran that its enriched uranium reserves would exceed from June 27 the limit provided by the nuclear agreement.

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