President Trump confirmed early Friday that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night in response to the downing of a U.S. drone, but that he called it off “10 minutes before the strike,” a source had confirmed to Fox News when a general told him that 150 people would probably die in the attack.
"No" planes in the air
Trump said the number of expected casualties was not "proportionate" to what Tehran did. In an exclusive interview with NBC's Chuck Todd for "Meet the Press," Donald Trump was asked if planes were in the air and the president responded, "No, but they would have been pretty soon, and things would have happened to a point where you would not turn back, you could not turn back."
"More sanctions added last night"
"...I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world, " Trump explained earlier in the morning on Twitter. "Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!"
President Trump also said more sanctions were added "last night." But It remained unclear Friday whether strike plans have been definitively shelved.
The Pentagon released video showing the smoke trail of the Navy drone that was shot out of the sky over the Strait of Hormuz by Iran, in what military officials described as an "unprovoked attack."
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard asserts that it had shot down the aircraft after it entered that country’s airspace.
Listening to congressional leaders
According to NBC, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., an outspoken Trump critic who heads the House Intelligence Committee, said the President is listening to congressional leaders who are urging caution.
Trump told reporters on Thursday that Iran made a "very big mistake" but also said he had the feeling that it might have been the result of someone being "loose and stupid," rather than a deliberate provocation by Iran.
Criticisms against Barack Obama
The tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased since Trump backed out of the Obama-era nuclear deal in May 2018. President Trump addressed again criticisms against his predecessor Barack Obama''s nuclear deal with Iran, while claiming sanctions imposed since have weakened the country.
According to NBC than Iran has been uptight about U.S. sanctions after seeing its currency drop by about 60 percent in 12 months, according to European Union figures. Food and drug prices are up 40 and 60 percent respectively.
Flights suspended in the region
Meanwhile, United Airlines has suspended one of its flights and other airlines are re-routing planes to avoid the Gulf of Oman “due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the region", has announced the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in an emergency order issued on Thursday.
NBC, CNN and Fox News contributed to this report.