News ID: 254751
Published: 0240 GMT June 23, 2019

Trump says will be Iran's 'best friend,’ thanks for not downing US plane

Trump says will be Iran's 'best friend,’ thanks for not downing US plane
AFP

US President Donald Trump said that he would be Iran's "best friend" and that the Islamic republic could be a "wealthy" country if it stopped pursuing nuclear weapons.

“They're not going to have a nuclear weapon. We're not going to have Iran have a nuclear weapon,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Saturday. 

"When they agree to that, they're going to have a wealthy country. They're going to be so happy, and I'm going to be their best friend. I hope that happens,” he added.

Iran’s leadership has repeatedly expressed their firm opposition to the development and use of nuclear weapons. Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has already issued a fatwa, religiously banning production, stockpile and use of nuclear weapons.

"I hope that happens. I hope that happens, but it may not," Trump said. He later said Iran will be hit with unspecified new sanctions on Monday.

Trump said US sanctions on Iran have turned the country into an "economic mess" and he tweeted later Saturday about new penalties to be imposed on Monday, without providing details. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that Iran's financial sector would be penalized soon if it doesn't work to stop evading international guidelines designed to combat money laundering.

Trump then praised Iran for not shooting down a manned plane with 38 people on board when it decided to shoot down an unmanned American spy drone on Thursday.

Trump made the comments a day after Iran announced that its forces refrained from shooting down the manned plane that was accompanying the American spy drone which was shot down in the Persian Gulf after intruding into the Iranian airspace.

“There was a plane with 38 people yesterday, did you see that? I think that's a big story. They had it in their sights and they didn't shoot it down. I think they were very wise not to do that. And we appreciate that they didn't do that. I think that was a very wise decision,” Trump told reporters.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Thursday that its air defense force had shot down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan.

The IRGC said in a statement that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region, which sits in the central district of Jask County, after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.

Press TV and AP contributed to this report.

 

 

 

   
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