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US does not want war with Iran, continues diplomacy: Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on during a joint news conference in The Hague, Netherlands June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw
2019-06-16

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SULAIMANI – While it is “unmistakable” that Iran was responsible for the attacks on two tankers last week, the United States does not want to go to war with Tehran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday”, Pompeo said, “President Trump has done everything he can to avoid war. We don’t want war.” But he added that Washington will guarantee free navigation through vital shipping areas.

“The United States is going make sure that we take all the actions necessary, diplomatic and otherwise that achieve that outcome,” Pompeo said.

US-Iran tensions are high following accusations by the administration of US President Donald Trump that Tehran carried out attacks last Thursday on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a vital oil shipping route. Iran has denied having any role.

“The intelligence community has lots of data, lots of evidence. The world will come to see much of it,” said Pompeo, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming secretary of state.

Pompeo said he did not want to discuss possible next steps the United State might take in response to last week’s developments.

“Iran will not get a nuke weapon. That’s the goal,” he said when asked about the possibility of Trump sending more American troops and military hardware to the region.

“I made a number of calls to colleagues around the world yesterday. I am confident that we will have partners that understand this threat,” Pompeo said.

(NRT Digital Media/ Reuters)