You can enable subtitles (captions) in the video player
As president, my highest and most solemn duty is the defence of our nation and its citizens. Last night, at my direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world, Qasem Soleimani. Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel. But we caught him in the act and terminated him.
What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved. Just recently, Soleimani led the brutal repression of protesters in Iran, where more than 1,000 innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their own government.
We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war. We do not seek regime change. However, the Iranian regime's aggression in the region, including the use of proxy fighters to destabilise its neighbours, must end, and it must end now. The future belongs to the people of Iran, those who seek peaceful co-existence and co-operation. Not the terrorists, warlords, who plunder their nation to finance bloodshed abroad.
The United States has the best military by far anywhere in the world. We have the best intelligence in the world. If Americans anywhere are threatened, we have all of those targets already fully identified. And I am ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary. And that in particular refers to Iran.