Trump aborts planned strikes on Iran
U.S. President Donald Trump said he aborted a military strike to retaliate for Iran's downing of an unmanned U.S. drone because it could have killed 150 people.
He has also signaled he was open to talks with Tehran.
An Iranian surface-to-air missile destroyed a U.S. Global Hawk surveillance drone on Thursday. Tehran said the drone was shot down over its territory and Washington said it occurred in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
The incident aggravated fears of a direct military clash between the longtime foes. Oil futures rose more than 1% to above $65 per barrel on Friday over worries about possible disruptions to crude exports from the Gulf.
Trump's decision to cancel what he said was a planned attack on three sites suggests he wants a diplomatic solution to end weeks of festering tensions with Iran, which Washington accuses of a spate of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf region.
"I'm not looking for war, and if there is, it'll be obliteration like you've never seen before. But I'm not looking to do that," Trump told NBC News in an interview aired on Friday night.
Iranian sources told Reuters that Trump had warned Tehran via Oman that a U.S. attack was imminent, but had said he was against war and wanted talks. Washington also requested a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting on Monday.
The State Department denied the Reuters report. "Reports that a message was passed last night to the Iranians via an Omani back channel are completely false. These reports are pure Iranian propoganda," department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said on Twitter.Published: by Radio NewsHub