After Trump had carried out military attacks on Iran within a few minutes in response to the Iranian action He stepped back on a dangerous escalation in the stalemate.
He said he had canceled an attack on Friday because he feared too many deaths for an adequate response to the US drone's crash.
"We were excited and Last night when I asked how many people are going to die. 1
The President said he had imposed new sanctions on Iran, and it was unclear what sanctions would be imposed
The conflict between the US and Iran escalated on Monday, as the Trump administration announced the deployment of 1,000 additional troops and additional military resources in the Middle East.
Tensions continued to rise Thursday the Iranian Revolutionary Guard said it shot down a "penetrating American spy drone" after it entered the country's territory.
The place where the drone was shot down has become a point of contention with the Trump government insisting the incident occurred me in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
The incident caught the President between republicans calling for a response, and Congressional Democrats warning Trump and Iran's hardliners on his national security guards who welcomed the confrontation could lose control of the situation and the US to go to war.
Trump's own dilemma was overcome by an almost unanimous national security team, which believed that the US should avenge its run-down drone by attacking Iranian targets. But for the president, the answer was anything but obvious. Finally, he pulled the plug in military strikes, minutes before the point where there was no return.
The US military targets would have been a limited set of Iranian radars and missiles English A US official with direct knowledge of the matter told CNN he was talking about anonymity because of the confidentiality of the information. When the decision was made to abandon them, no US weapons had yet been launched.
In an interview with NBC Friday, Trump took a closer look at his decision.
"I thought for a second and you said you know what, they shot down an unmanned drone, an airplane, whatever you want to call it, and here we're sitting with 150 dead, which probably took place within half an hour after I said, go ahead and I did not. "I did not like it, I did not think, I did not think it was relative," he said.
"Nothing was greened until the end, because things are changing," added Trump. "We had something ready that was subject to my approval," he added, saying planes were not in the air when he ordered the retreat, but "would have come pretty soon."
"We had something ready that was subject to my approval," he added. Aircraft were not in the air when he ordered the retreat, he said, but "would have been pretty soon."
CNN's Jeremy Diamond, Barbara Starr, Pamela Brown, Jamie Gangel and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.