"But I'm not looking to do that", Mr Trump told NBC News in an interview a day after he aborted a planned air strike against Iranian targets in retaliation for Tehran shooting down a United States drone.
He said U.S. sanctions are crippling the Iranian economy and that more are being added. And we appreciate that they didn't do that.
Tensions in the region began to worsen significantly when Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six powers and reimposed sanctions on the country.
Mr. Trump said Iran also had a plane carrying 38 people on its sight but the country made the "very wise" decision not to shoot it down.
Ali Shamkhani, Iran's secretary of Supreme National Security Council, said on Thursday that Iran will not attack anyone, however, he insisted on Tehran's position that the aggressor will "regret" if Iran is attacked.
IRGC Commander-in-Chief, Major General Hossein Salami, said on Thursday that the downing of the drone was a "clear message" to Washington that Tehran would "react strongly" to any aggression.
Tensions have heightened between the USA and Iran following a string of actions allegedly taken by Iran on US assets overseas, including rocket attacks against a military base in Iraq housing USA troops and an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The differences of the Democrats with Trump on his Iran policy are of an entirely tactical character, with Obama having paved the way with his own punishing sanctions and war threats.
Trump's initial comments on the attack were succinct.
USA military says United States drone downed by Iran in int'l airspace
Iran's state-run IRNA news agency, citing the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, identified the drone as an RQ-4 Global Hawk. A RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned surveillance drone lands on August 16, 2018, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.
Tehran repeated yesterday that the drone was shot down over its territory and said it would respond firmly to any U.S. threat.
If Iran refrains from further escalation, the window of opportunity for a deal will be open, but not the kind that Iran wants.
According to the President, he then called off the strike "10 minutes" beforehand when he learned that 150 people would die. -Israeli security ties, said Trump was undermining USA credibility.
The sanctions have hurt Iran's economy, squeezed its vital oil exports and barred it from the dollar-dominated global finance system, dimming hopes for a trade bonanza for Tehran for having curbed its nuclear capabilities under United Nations monitoring.
His administration past year pulled out of the 2015 worldwide agreement meant to curb the Iranian nuclear program, an agreement he strongly criticised as ineffective during his presidential campaign.
According to RT, the U.S. president also added that it was important to "start over" on the Islamic Republic, and rephrased his own campaign slogan, saying "let's make Iran great again".
The aircraft was flying over worldwide waters in the strait, where two commercial tankers were attacked with explosives last week.
A senior Arab diplomat said the sharply increased tensions would further harm the crisis-hit Middle East region.
The drone incident immediately heightened the crisis already gripping the wider region, which is rooted in Trump withdrawing the US a year ago from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal and imposing crippling new sanctions on Tehran.