- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 22, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said it’s the “world’s responsibility” to work together and rein in an increasingly hostile Iran, again stressing that the U.S. wants to avoid military action in favor of diplomacy.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. Pompeo said the recent attack on oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia — an incident both Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran — was just the latest example of Iran’s constant destabilization in the Middle East. The incident has put the region on edge and led to fears of a military confrontation that could involve Iran, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and other nations.

The Pentagon late Friday announced that more U.S. troops will head to the region to deter Iran. But Mr. Pompeo said the Trump administration remains focused on diplomacy and is pinning its hopes on this week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.

“The whole world understands that Iran is the bad actor, they are the evil force in the region,” he said. “And I hope this week here in New York the world will come together to push back against this and convince the Iranian leadership this behavior is unacceptable.”

“This is the world’s responsibility to respond [to] these state-on-state acts of war that took place in Saudi Arabia this past week,” Mr. Pompeo added.

The administration late last week also announced another round of economic sanctions on Iran in response to the oil attack in Saudi Arabia. While the U.S. and Saudi Arabia made clear that they believe Iran is responsible for the attacks, neither country has explicitly said that the rockets and drones used to target the oil facilities were fired from inside Iran.

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