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The US president, Donald Trump, said Friday that he ordered the powerful Quds Force commander of the Guardians of the Iranian Revolution, Qasem Soleimaní, to "stop a war" not to start it.
"We acted last night to stop a war. We did not act to start a war," said Trump, who appeared by surprise from the press from his private club in Mar-a-Lago, in West Palm Beach (Florida).
"We are not looking for a regime change. However, the aggressions of the Iranian regime in the region, including the use of combatants to destabilize their neighbors, must end and must end now," he said in his first televised statement since death. from Soleimaní.
Although his words seemed to seek to reduce tension, Trump warned that he is prepared to answer any military response from the Islamic Republic.
"The US has by far the best army in the world, we have the best intelligence in the world. If Americans anywhere are threatened, we already have identified goals. And I am ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary, and that it refers in particular to Iran, "he warned.
Without offering any proof, Trump said Soleimaní was planning "imminent and sinister attacks" against US military and diplomats.
"Soleimaní made the death of innocent people a sick passion, contributing to terror plots as far as in New Delhi or London," said Trump, who said the Iranian commander "had perpetrated acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East in the last 20 years".
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, spoke this Friday after the murder of Soleimaní. Photo: Reuters
"What we did yesterday should have been done a long time ago, many lives would have been saved," he remarked, in a veiled criticism of his predecessors in the White House.
Trump also held Soleimaní responsible for the death on December 27 of an American contractor in an attack on a military base in Iraq and said the Iranian commander also orchestrated the assault on the US embassy. in Baghdad, which occurred in response to US bombings in Syria and Iraq.
The Pentagon announced Thursday night the death in a drone attack of Soleimaní at Baghdad International Airport and justified it by ensuring that the Iranian general was developing plans to attack US diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.
Iran has promised that it will retaliate and, in response, the US today he designated as a terrorist the True League, which is a group affiliated with the Quds Force, destined for foreign operations and which depends on the Revolutionary Guard of Iran, already designated as a terrorist group by Washington.
In addition, according to local media, the Pentagon plans to send between 3,000 and 3,500 soldiers to the Middle East.