President Trump reiterated threats against Iran during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the White House Tuesday, defending his decision to strike Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.
Tensions with Iran remain sky-high, as the U.S. waits for Iran to retaliate. Mr. Trump, who over the weekend threatened cultural sites in Iran, did not apologize for that on Tuesday. But he did give a nod to laws prohibiting targeting cultural sites, saying, "If that's what the law is, I like to obey the law."
"If Iran does anything that they shouldn't be doing, they're going to be suffering the consequences, and very strongly," he added.
The Trump administration hasn't explained what its longterm strategy in the region is, or what the administration considers success in dealing with the Iranians. The White House is taking a wait-and-see approach, as the U.S. waits for Iran to respond.
The president said he isn't pulling troops from Iraq, at least, not now, claiming it's not the right time.
"So I think we've done a fantastic job but eventually we want to be able to let Iraq run its own affairs and that's very important," the president said in the Oval Office Tuesday. "So at some point we want to get out. But this isn't the right point. The other thing is if we do get out, we've spent a tremendous amount of money on building airports and building, it's one of the largest embassies we have in the world right, and we want to be reimbursed for the various costs that we have had and they're very significant. But we'll work something out. And I talk sanctions but I'm only talking sanctions if we're not treated with respect. We have to be treated with respect."
Top administration officials are briefing the "Gang of Eight" on the strike and situation with Iran Tuesday afternoon, and the full House and Senate are expected to be briefed Wednesday.