Pompeo and Cotton Say War With Iran is On The Table

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that there are a number of options being weighed to combat Iran’s recent aggression including military strikes.

“The United States is considering a full range of options. We have briefed the President a couple of times, we’ll continue to keep him updated.

“We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrence which is our mission set,” he said.

“The President will consider everything we need to do to make sure, right? But what’s the President said? We don’t want Iran to get a nuclear weapon,” he said.

“President Trump has said very clearly, he doesn’t want to go to war,” Pompeo said in the interview with CBS show “Face The Nation,” CNN reported.

Pompeo’s comments come as tensions are rising in the waterways of the Middle East, where two tankers — one carrying oil and the other transporting chemicals — were attacked near the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route that has been the focal point of regional tensions for decades. Roughly 30% of the world’s sea-borne crude oil passes through the strategic choke point, making it a flashpoint for political and economic friction.

Iran has categorically denied the attacks.

The United States has blamed Iran for the attack on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman, releasing video footage that it claims shows an Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from one of the vessels’ hulls.

The comments also come as the United States has blamed Iranian backed rebels for shooting down one of its drones.

The statement also came on the same day that Republican Sen, Tom Cotton called for a retaliatory military strike against Iran.

“These unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike,” he said on “Face The Nation,” CBS reported.

“The fastest way to get the fire and fury of the U.S. military unleashed on you is to interfere with the freedom of navigation on the open seas and in the air.

“That’s exactly what Iran is doing in one of the world’s most important strategic choke points,” he said on the program.

Asked about concerns among the public and lawmakers that hardliners like national security adviser John Bolton might be pushing the U.S. on the brink of war with faulty intelligence like the one cited in the prelude of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Cotton said said the two events are “very different things.”

“In 2002, our intelligence agencies, just like every Western intelligence agency, was trying to assess the state of a weapons of mass destruction program, one of the things that states worked the hardest to keep secret,” he said, referring to the early assessment by the Bush administration that Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein had built a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction — which, despite being the main talking point the administration used to defend the invasion in front of the public and international community, turned out to be inaccurate.

Now, however, Cotton said concrete evidence implicates Iran in the oil tanker attacks.

“There’s really not much to assess right here. Everybody can see with their own two eyes, those Iranian sailors going up to a ship and taking a mine off of it,” he said, referring to a U.S. surveillance video released after the attacks.

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