President Donald Trump struck a reconciliatory tone Wednesday afternoon, urging Iran to embrace peace amidst raging fallout over the killing of its general last week.
Mr Trump said Iran should stop being a rogue state and focus instead on common developmental goals with other countries across the world.
“The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran and we should work together on this and other shared priorities,” he said.
The American leader also said the U.S. does not necessarily have to use its military might.
“Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast,” Mr Trump said during a televised address Wednesday afternoon. “The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean that we have to use it.”
Mr Trump said America has continued to ramp up its nuclear and other military arsenal since he assumed office, but peace was a far better option.
His speech came hours after Iran fired more than a dozen rockets at two Iraqi military bases where Americans were staying.
Mr Trump confirmed no American soldiers were killed or wounded in the attacks, which he said indicated Iran was “standing down.”
Some Iranian media had earlier claimed between 30 to 80 American soldiers were killed, but subsequent events later exposed that report as mere propaganda.
Iran said it was satisfied by the missiles it fired, saying it was a retaliation for the killing on January 2 of Qassem Soleimani, a long-time military chief and strategist.
But since no one was killed either on the American or Iraqi side, speculation had become rife about why the missiles were fired in the first place.
Some analysts said the attacks were Iran’s way of showing it could attack American bases with precision in the Middle East if it chooses to. Iran is also believed to have tipped off the Iraqi’s before the attack to prevent casualties.
Mr Trump, however, said precautionary steps taken by the U.S. military ensured there were no casualties from the attack.
Some other Americans see the recent actions as a victory for Mr Trump, although some commentators warned that the preemptive strikes could be a way of giving the Trump administration a false sense of security while a bigger assault was being planned by Iran’s military.