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Trump says he called off Iran strikes due to high casualty concerns

Trump says he called off Iran strikes due to high casualty concerns

US President Donald Trump says he called off strikes against Iranian targets because he was told 150 people would die in the attacks, which would not be a "proportionate" response for the downing of an unmanned drone.

In a series of tweets on Friday, the president said the US was ready "to retaliate last night on 3 different" locations but then called off the strikes 10 minutes before the plan went into action.

"I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night," Trump said, adding that Tehran would not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons. He said Iran is "a much weakened nation today."

The US withdrew last year from an international deal designed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and has been reimposing sanctions on Tehran in a "maximum pressure" campaign to shape Iranian foreign policy, with the two countries now in an escalatory cycle.