President Trump vowed, in a wide-ranging interview with Fox News, not to let Iran get nuclear weapons – but reiterated his reluctance to go to war.
“I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons,” he told Fox News host Steve Hilton in an interview on Sunday. His comments reaffirmed the administration’s resolve in suppressing Iranian nuclear proliferation even as it faced provocations from the regime and threats to U.S. assets in the Middle East.
Trump, during the interview, continued opposing military intervention — something that separated him from others in the 2016 campaign — but indicated Iranian nuclear development would constitute an urgent exception.
“I don’t want to fight. But you do have situations like Iran, you can’t let them have nuclear weapons — you just can’t let that happen,” he said.
While speaking with Hilton, he recounted the costs of war which he said he wanted to avoid.
“With all of everything that’s going on, and I’m not one that believes — you know, I’m not somebody that wants to go into war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly — by far most importantly,” he said.
Trump has urged Iranians to come to the table even as they appeared to continue retaliating over higher sanctions — a devastating form of pressure that started with Trump’s decision to exit the Obama-era nuclear deal.
“I ended the Iran Nuclear Deal, and actually, I must tell you — I had no idea it was going to be as strong as it was. It totally — the country is devastated from the standpoint of the economy,” he told Hilton.
While the president stood by that decision, he faced renewed criticism from Democrats over that 2018 exit. Many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have pledged to re-enter the deal. Read more