Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 July 2019

Donald Trump: US has no exit strategy for Iran impasse

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called new sanctions on his country “an attack on the nation”

US President Donald Trump said that he had no exit strategy for Iran hours after the country's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called the fresh sanctions “an attack on the nation". AFP / MANDEL NGAN
US President Donald Trump said that he had no exit strategy for Iran hours after the country's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called the fresh sanctions “an attack on the nation". AFP / MANDEL NGAN

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he had no exit strategy for the current impasse with Iran.

“You’re not going to need an exit strategy. I don’t do exit strategies,” Mr Trump said, hours after Iran called the US sanctions on its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “an attack on the nation”.

Asked what his message is for Iran, Mr Trump said: “There is no message. You know what, I’ll tell you what the message is: when they’re ready, they’ll let us know.

“Ready to do whatever. Doesn’t make a difference. Whatever they want to do, I’m ready."

Earlier in the day, he called the official Iranian response to the sanctions insulting and threatened obliteration.

“Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality,” Mr Trump tweeted.

“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the White House was suffering “from mental disability" and behaving in a way no sane person would.

French President Emmanuel Macron called Mr Rouhani on Tuesday to try to ease tension and prevent Tehran from breaching the uranium enrichment cap agreed to in a 2015 nuclear deal.

The US is preparing more sanctions on Iran, including on its Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and is consulting with international allies to boost maritime security in the Gulf.

Updated: June 26, 2019 12:42 AM

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