President Donald Trump has stepped back from new military action against Iran after its missile strikes on Iraqi bases housing US troops caused no casualties but he told Iran he would tighten already crippling US sanctions.
Trump and Iranian officials looked to defuse a crisis that on Wednesday had threatened to spiral into open conflict after the killing of a prominent Iranian general in Iraq on Jan. 3 in a US drone strike was followed by Iran’s retaliatory attack.
The tit-for-tat military action, after months of rising tension since the United States withdrew in 2018 from Iran’s nuclear pact with world powers, had stoked global concerns that the Middle East was heading towards another war.
But both sides drew back from the brink, while Arab and other international leaders called for restraint. In Iraq, groups, opposed to the US presence in Iraq, also sought to cool passions.