Rep. Jim Himes (D., Conn.) said during a Thursday appearance on Morning Joe that Iran's attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia was an "act of war," but pushed back against U.S. involvement and said Iran was acting out because President Trump walked away from the nuclear agreement.
"I believe that Iran was involved in this," Himes said. "The Houthis don't have the technical capability to pull off that kind of raid. We don't know 100 percent for sure yet so we have to be careful about that. But, look, you know, Pompeo's not wrong. When missiles attack one of your oil installations, that is pretty clearly an act of war."
Recent Stories in National Security
The New York Times reported earlier this week that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was pushing for an international coalition to respond to the attacks.
Himes said that if Saudi Arabia enacted a "proportionate response" to Iran for "an act of war on their territory" it would be understandable, but that "the United States is not obligated to do that."
"We are not the world's policemen," he said. "We are certainly not, you know, a treaty ally of a country that dismembers journalists, that bombs schoolchildren in Yemen, that won't let women out of the house without a male relative."
"Iran needs to be checked," he said, "it needs to be pushed back on, but it is not necessarily the United States' role to retaliate for a strike that they may have done in Saudi Arabia."
He also stressed the need for congressional approval for potential military response and blamed President Donald Trump for exacerbating tensions by exiting the Iran nuclear deal.
"Would the Iranians be behaving themselves? No, they wouldn't," he said. "But what they're doing in Saudi Arabia with all of these tankers and all the misbehavior they're doing, they're doing because we walked away from an agreement that we didn't need to walk away from. We need to remember that we are where we are because of the actions of Donald Trump."