situation report

Jun 21, 2019 | 14:17 GMT

1 min read

U.S., Iran: Trump Calls Off Strike on Iran at Last Moment

What Happened: The U.S. military was poised to strike three Iranian targets late on June 20 in response to Tehran's downing of a U.S. drone, but has reportedly held off due to the level of damage the action would have caused, U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Twitter.

Why It Matters: It appears that Trump canceled the strike in an effort to avoid escalating the standoff between Washington and Tehran, especially as his desire to avoid a war with Iran has proven popular with his base ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Nevertheless, the decision to avoid strikes could embolden Iran to continue pushing the United States' red lines in the Persian Gulf region.

Background: In addition to downing the drone earlier on June 20, Iran is also widely believed to have sabotaged six oil tankers in the region on two different occasions in the last month.

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