WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - President Donald Trump said on Wednesday (June 26) that if the United States goes to war with Iran, the conflict "would not last very long" and would not involve ground troops.
Mr Trump reiterated his desire to avoid war during a wide-ranging interview on Fox Business.
"Well, I hope we don't," he said when asked if the US was going to war. "We're in a very strong position if something should happen. We're in a very strong position. It wouldn't last very long, I can tell you that."
"I'm not talking boots on the ground," Mr Trump added. "I'm not talking, we're going to send a million soldiers. I'm just saying if something would happen, it wouldn't last very long."
Mr Trump also pointed to his decision last week to call off a military strike that was to have been launched after Iran shot down a US drone.
"I've been very nice to them," he said. "They shot down our drone. I decided not to kill a lot of Iranians. I know a lot of Iranians. I like Iranians so much, and that plays into your decision, too. They're human beings. They're people. I didn't want to kill 150 people."
His comments come amid increasing tensions between the two countries and personal insults between Mr Trump and Iranian leaders.
In recent days, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has described the White House as "mentally crippled" and denounced new sanctions against Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as "outrageous and idiotic".
Mr Trump on Tuesday (June 25) called Mr Rouhani's comments "ignorant" and said that Iran does "not understand reality".
Any attack on "anything American", tweeted the president, will bring "overwhelming" US force and "obliteration" of some Iranian assets.
During Wednesday's interview, Mr Trump said he does not think that the Iranian leadership is smart.
"I don't think they have smart leadership at all," he said. "Iran's going down the tubes."