President Trump said going into Iran would be a "very easy" decision, but he's showing restraint. Mr. Trump made the comments during a news conference alongside Australian prime minister Scott Morrison Friday, after announcing new sanctions leveled against Iran.
"We are by far the strongest military in the world," Mr. Trump said. "Going into Iran would be a very easy decision, as I've said before — would be very easy, the easiest thing. Most people thought I would go in within two seconds but plenty of time, plenty of time," the president said. "In the meantime, they have a lot of problems within Iran. Iran could be a great country, could be a rich country. But they are choosing to go a different way. There'll be a point at which they'll be very sorry for that choice. But I think I'm showing great restraint."
Moments earlier, Mr. Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the U.S. is leveling sanctions at Iran's central bank and national development fund, after the recent Saudi oil facility attacks. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this week traveled to Saudi Arabia to address the situation.
Earlier Friday, during a bilateral meeting with Morrison, the president said potential strikes against Iran were "all set to go," but he added he isn't looking to do that.
"I could do it right here, in front of you. And that will be it."
It's under these escalating tensions with Iran that new national security adviser Robert O'Brien became the president's top national security aide, and Mr. Trump recognized him during the press conference on Friday. The president praised O'Brien's hostage negotiation skills.
Morrison is at the White House for a state visit Friday, which will culminate with a state dinner in the White House's Rose Garden.