WASHINGTON: Donald Trump said he was not seeking a war with Iran, or “regime change,” after assassinating the country’s top general in an audacious drone strike.
The US president said he had acted to prevent a plot against America by General Qassim Soleimani, who he called a “sick monster “and “the number one terrorist anywhere in the world.”
Mr Trump said: “We took action last night to stop a war, we did not take action to start a war.
“Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terror plots as far away as New Delhi and London. His reign of terror is over.
The president added: “We do not seek regime change. However, the Iranian regime’s aggression, including use of proxy fighters to destabilise neighbours, must end, and it must end now.”
If Americans anywhere were targeted by Iran he had “targets already identified and I am ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary.”
On Friday night, the White House insisted it acted in response to clear threats against Americans.