Trump Asking NATO to Become More Involved With Middle East in Wake of Iran Missile Strikes

President Donald Trump said hed be asking the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, to get more involved with the Middle East after Iran fired missiles at Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops on Jan. 7.

“Today, I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process,” Trump said during an address to the nation at the White House on Wednesday.

He noted that America has achieved energy independence by ramping up domestic production, adding: “We do not need Middle East oil.” He also touted “big” and “powerful” U.S. missiles but said that America “does not want to use” its military and equipment.

“American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent,” he said.

Trump responded after Iran fired more than a dozen missiles late Tuesday.

No Americans or Iraqis were injured and the strikes caused minimal damage, Trump said. He said he will seek peace with Iran.

Ain al-Asad air base
Ain al-Asad air base
Al Asad air base in the western Anbar desert, Iraq, on Dec. 29, 2019. (Nasser Nasser/AP Photo)

Trump criticized the nuclear deal put into place by his predecessor, Barack Obama, which the Trump administration withdrew from in 2018. A new deal should be hammered out, the president said.

Trump said that “the time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality. They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal, or JCPOA,” he said.

“We must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential. Iran can be a great country. Peace stability cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence, unrest, hatred, and war,” he added.

“The civilian world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem, will not be tolerated any longer.”

Trump said he wants to work together on “shared priorities” with Iran, such as the description of the terror group of ISIS. He said in a message to Iranian leaders that he wants the country to prosper.

I condemn the Iranian missile attacks on US & @coalition forces in Iraq. #NATO calls on Iran to refrain from further violence. Allies continue to consult & remain committed to our training mission in Iraq.

— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) January 8, 2020

Following the strikes, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that he condemned the Iranian missile attacks.

“NATO calls on Iran to refrain from further violence. Allies continue to consult & remain committed to our training mission in Iraq,” he said.

NATO consists of 29 countries, many of which are situated in Europe.

Germany and NATO both announced the movement of troops out of Iraq on Tuesday before the strikes.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told lawmakers in writing that the troops in the Iraqi bases in Baghdad and Taji would be “temporarily thinned out,” according to news agency dpa. Germany has aboutRead More – Source

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