Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday insisted Iran was definitively to blame for attacks on Saudi oil production facilities for which Tehran-backed Houthi rebels have taken credit.
The attacks, which hit an oilfield and a production facility, “could not have come from the Houthis — it’s crazy for anyone to assert that they did,” Pompeo said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “This was an act of war … this was a state-on-state act of war.”
Host Margaret Brennan noted that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has forcefully denied Tehran’s responsibility for the attacks, to which Pompeo countered that “there’s already ample evidence” Zarif is lying.
“I don’t know why anyone listens to the Iranian foreign minister,” Pompeo added, minimizing Zarif’s role in Tehran’s foreign policy. “It’s beneath the dignity of anyone to listen to him.”
Pompeo also maintained that he and President Trump are “looking for a diplomatic resolution,” but added “we’re prepared to do the things we need to do.”
“President Trump would like to have a diplomatic solution, that’s the task in front of us,” Pompeo later told “Fox News Sunday” guest host John Roberts.
“Our mission set is to avoid war — we’re putting additional forces in the region for purposes of deterrence and defense,” he said
“Suffice it to say we’re consistently concerned that Iran will continue to behave in a way that it has for 40 years,” he added. “The whole world understands that Iran is the bad actor, they are the evil force in the region.”
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