Tehran on Thursday appeared to brush off U.S. President Donald Trump's call for a new nuclear pact, and an Iranian commander has threatened more attacks could come even as both sides appear to be stepping back from the brink of war.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Iran appears to be standing down." Washington and Tehran on Wednesday signaled they were ready to hit pause amid fears they were heading toward open conflict.
In a national address, Trump said the U.S. did not want to use its military force.
Iran's foreign minister said its rocket attacks against Iraqi bases hosting U.S. forces concluded its retaliation operations after an American airstrike killed a top Iranian military commander.
But each side's next move was unclear.
Trump announced new unspecified economic sanctions against Iran, and called on world powers to follow his lead and ditch the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal." But he then suggested that Iran and other nations forge a new pact that limited Iran's nuclear program and allowed that country to "thrive and prosper." Iran appeared skeptical of negotiations with a president who scrapped a previous nuclear accord.
On Thursday, Iran's U.N.
Ambassador said Tehran did not trust dialog under Trump, and called the sanctions threat "economic terrorism." Helping to calm fears, there have been no reports of new violence.
Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday told CBS that Iran appears to reining in its allied Iraqi paramilitary groups.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE, SAYING: "we're receiving some encouraging intelligence that Iran is sending messages to those very same militias not to move against American targets or civilians." But there were new threats as well.
A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned of "harsher revenge soon" and another said Wednesday's missile strikes were only the start of a series of attacks across the region.
The new head of the elite Quds Force, which handles Iran's foreign military operations, said he would follow the course pursued by his predecessor, killed in a U.S. drone strike last week.