The US President announced a series of measures for dealing with Iran in the short-term but there appears to be a lack of a long term strategy for how the two countries will interact in the future.
Washington, DC: It was an address full of imagery worthy of a Hollywood movie.
As the US Vice-President Mike Pence and a flank of army generals stood silent on stage, the heavy wooden doors behind the White House lectern swung open and President Donald Trump emerged from the light.
He opened with a statement that Iran will never have a nuclear weapon during his term in office.
Trump went on to speak for around seven minutes in an address that was also noteworthy for what he didn't say.
Firstly, and most importantly, the US has backed away from immediate military action and will instead impose sanctions.
It is a huge step and required a massive change in Trump's rhetoric.
Only days ago he was threatening a "disproportionate" response that could include destroying Iran's culturally significant sites.
He today said that America has the best military, but that they don't want to use it.
However, while he has somewhat de-escalated the situation, he has not completely allowed Iran off the hook.
Some intelligence reports from Iraq have suggested Iran deliberately missed parts of the military bases which housed US troops.
Trump though did not did not offer this as an explanation for the lack of casualties, instead crediting an early warning system.
What was completely lacking in the address was any mention of a long term strategy in how to deal with Iran.
The Iranians have shown a tendency to retaliate to sanctions through their proxy network of fighters in the region. The recent hit on a Saudi oil facility is an example of their capabilities.
How America responds to something like this may well be the next challenge.
The Iranians like to play a long game and their response may be months away,
The president, though, appears to believe he is operating from a position of strength.
For now, it appears he will try to force the Iranians to negotiate through sanctions.
The ball is now largely back in Iran's court.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/donald-trump-iran-air-strikes-what-happens-now-middle-east-tensions-usa-politics/312c63f7-b4d0-4c85-b243-5ba38f1478d9