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Pentagon Lays Out Trump's Options After Iran Threatens 'All-Out War' Against US and Saudis

09-20-2019
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Pentagon

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is briefing President Trump Friday on his military options in the wake of the coordinated attack on the oil facilities of US ally Saudi Arabia.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence have condemned the attack as "an act of war," Pompeo laying the blame squarely on the Islamic regime in Iran. 

Iran's foreign minister says any Saudi Arabian or US strike on Iran will result in "all-out war".

Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made that comment on CNN Thursday after Pompeo clearly stated that the proof shows Iran is behind the attack.

President Trump is holding his fire so far, stopping short of military response. "There's plenty of time to do some dastardly things. It's very easy to start. We'll see what happens," Trump told reporters.

Seeking to build a coalition to respond to the attack, Pompeo issued the administration's strongest statement yet during his trip to Saudi Arabia.

"We were blessed that there were no Americans killed in this attack, but anytime you have an act of war of this nature, there's always risk that that could happen," said Pompeo Wednesday.

And on Twitter Thursday, Pompeo tweeted that he "supports Saudi Arabia's right to defend itself."

Saudi Arabia says the drones and missiles came from "the north" but has stopped short of saying Iran carried out the attack.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of Trump's staunchest allies, says the administration needs to act quickly. "They're testing us, they're testing the region and I think if we don't act decisively now the worst is yet to come," Graham told reporters.

President Trump though says not so fast.

"I don't want war with anybody. I'm somebody that would like to not have war," said Trump.

Standing with Robert O'Brien, his pick to replace John Bolton as National Security Advisor, Trump says all options remain on the table.

"There are many options. There's the ultimate option and there are options a lot less than that. And we'll see. We're in a very powerful position," Trump said. "I'm saying the ultimate option – go in, war."

Iran denies its involvement in the attack. Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and other Iranian leaders were scheduled to be at New York's UN General Assembly next week, but right now it's unclear if they're still coming because they haven't yet received their visas. Trump says he would allow them to come.

 

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