US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he doesn't want war with Iran, but if it comes there will be "obliteration like you've never seen before."
"But I'm not looking to do that," he stressed in an exclusive interview with NBC's Chuck Todd for "Meet the Press."
Trump said there were no pre-conditions for US talks with Tehran.
"You can't have nuclear weapons," Trump said. "And if you want to talk about it, good. Otherwise, you can live in a shattered economy for a long time to come."
Trump also said in the interview, which will air in full on Sunday, that he hadn't given final approval to any military strikes against Iran and he added that no planes were in the air.
Asked by Todd if planes were in the air, he replied, "No, but they would have been pretty soon, and things would have happened to a point where you would not turn back, you could not turn back.”
"Nothing was green lighted until the very end because things change," Trump.
The comments come in the wake of revelations that Trump had approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them.
Earlier, the president tweeted that he was "cocked and loaded" to strike several targets in Iran but deemed the loss of life would be disproportionate to the downing of an unmanned US drone.
“On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!” wrote Trump.
He told NBC on Friday that a plan was "ready to go, subject my approval."
Trump said he asked his generals, "I want to know something before you go. How many people would be killed, in this case Iranians?"
The generals said approximately 150 people would be killed, the president said.
"I thought about it for a second and I said, you know what, they shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with a 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead," Trump said. "And I didn't like it, I didn't think, I didn't think it was proportionate."
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)