WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was “not talking boots on the ground” should military action be necessary against Iran, and said any conflict would not last long.
Asked if a war was brewing, Trump told a US media network: “I hope we don’t but we’re in a very strong position if something should happen.”
“I’m not talking boots on the ground,” Trump said. “I’m just saying if something would happen, it wouldn’t last very long.”
The comments come just days after Trump canceled air strikes minutes before impact, with allies warning that the increase in tensions since the United States pulled out of a nuclear pact with Iran last year could accidentally lead to war.
The Trump administration says the deal reached under his predecessor Barack Obama was too weak because it is not permanent and does not cover issues outside of the nuclear area, such as Iran’s missile program and its regional behavior.
U.S. officials say new sanctions are necessary to force Iran back to the negotiating table, and Trump is open to talks without pre-conditions. Iran says talks are impossible unless Washington lifts sanctions first.