Trump calls off Iranian strikes, ratcheting down tension

International
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, June 20, 2019, in Washington. Trump declared Thursday that “Iran made a very big mistake” in shooting down a U.S. drone but suggested it was an accident rather than a strategic error. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. was “cocked and loaded’ to retaliate against Iran for downing an American drone, but canceled the missile strikes 10 minutes before they were to be executed after being told some 150 people could die.

Trump tweeted Friday that the U.S. will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. But he said he’s in no hurry to respond to the downing of the U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz. His statement was the latest indication that he does not want to escalate the clash with Tehran, but he didn’t rule out a future U.S. strike.

He said U.S. economic sanctions are crippling the Iranian economy and more are being added.

Iran claimed Friday it had issued several warnings before shooting down the drone over what it said was Iranian territory.

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