United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that if Washington goes on a war with Iran, the conflict “would not last very long” and not involve ground troops.
“Well, I hope we don’t but we’re in a very strong position if something should happen,” Trump was quoted as saying to Fox Business News in an interview when asked if a war with Iran was imminent. “We’re in a very strong position. It wouldn’t last very long, I can tell you that. And I’m not talking boots on the ground.”
“I’ve been very nice to them [Iran],” Trump said, according to The Washington Post. “They shot down our drone. I decided not to kill a lot of Iranians. I know a lot of Iranians. I like Iranians so much, and that plays into your decision, too. They’re human beings. They’re people. I didn’t want to kill 150 people.”
Earlier in the day, Iran President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran “never seeks war” with any country including the United States. Rouhani, however, asserted that if the US wanted to trespass on Iran’s territorial waters, its armed forces would deliver a resolute response to them.
Rouhani also blamed Washington for regional tensions between the two countries, which had heated up on June 20 when Iran shot down an American drone after claiming it had flown over its air space. Rouhani reiterated that the drone had been targeted only after it had been given a warning for violating Iran’s air space.
On Tuesday, Trump threatened Iran with obliteration and said an attack on “anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force.”
The same day Rouhani had called the White House “mentally retarded”, an insult that Iran has used in the past for Trump. The Iranian president had also dismissed the “hard-hitting” financial sanctions imposed on its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The sanctions were aimed at cutting off Iranian leadership’s access to financial resources, and barring them from using the United States’ financial system or having access to assets in America.
Washington has also blamed Tehran for attacks on tankers in the Gulf in recent weeks, which Iran has denied. On Monday, the United States said it was building a coalition with allies to protect Gulf shipping lanes.