President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Iran “appears to be standing down” following strikes by Tehran on two U.S. bases in Iraq overnight, and announced fresh sanctions on the Islamic Republic as he said his administration was continuing to evaluate options to respond to “Iranian aggression.”
Trump spoke from the White House following the strikes early Wednesday local time. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said the firing of ballistic missiles at the bases housing U.S. forces were in retribution for the U.S. killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Surrounded by his top aides, the president also called for other nations to break away from the Iran nuclear deal he pulled the U.S. out of, and work together on a new agreement. He began his remarks by saying Iran would never have a nuclear weapon as long as he is president, and said no Americans or Iraqis had been harmed in the missile strikes.
U.S. benchmarks extended their intraday gains after Trump’s White House address. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.75% rose more than 200 points, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.69% climbed nearly 22 points and the Nasdaq COMP, +0.78% gained 63 points. Iran’s action rattled financial markets in after-hours trade Tuesday, but moves in stocks, bonds and commodities quickly moderated. Oil prices CLG20, -3.96% BRNH20, -3.40% traded sharply lower, reversing a spike higher in the wake of the attack.
The U.S. maintains numerous sanctions on Iran already. Trump did not detail what the fresh ones will be.
“These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior,” the president said.
Trump and top U.S. officials have warned Iran that Washington will take further action if Tehran does anything the administration deems provocative.