During a Sunday morning interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Kerry was asked by host Margaret Brennan about the situation between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic and if the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal — can be “salvaged.”
Kerry said “of course” the plan could be salvaged but also said he believed that it was “obvious” that Iran was behind the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil sites.
He then praised Trump for not being “rushed into a corner” to enter into a military conflict with Iran and the U.S. was “seeing the unfolding” of the effects from the economic actions taken against the Islamic Republic.
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“You’ve got to be really clear and honest about what’s happening here. I believe Iran — one way or the other — was behind the attack that took place. That, to me, is obvious. It’s also obvious that it’s got to be denied, and it will be denied right now because they need the plausible deniability. But the president, I think, is actually correct to be evaluating, sort of, not being rushed into a corner to go to war. That is what we shouldn’t do.
But you also have the look at what happened afterward, after we pulled out. We basically declared economic war on Iran. We have been pressuring them, maximum pressure, and it was entirely foreseeable that that would result in further conflict. So, we’re seeing the unfolding of really a bankruptcy of approach. The international community can come together now. I think there is a way to avert war without showing weakness.”
As IJR previously reported, the president told reporters in California that there are “many options” the U.S. can explore before using the “ultimate option” of going to war.
“There are many options. There’s the ultimate option and there are options that are a lot less than that. And we’ll see,” Trump said. “I’m saying the ultimate option meaning go in — war.”
The Saudi Arabian government had said the strikes on their oil sites last week were “unquestionably sponsored” by the government of Iran.