Former Texas congressman Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke claimed the Trump administration is "gunning for war in Iran" after the administration pointed to evidence that the Iranians are responsible for a spate of recent attacks on civilian oil tankers.
During an appearance on PBS NewsHour Thursday, O'Rourke would not say whether he believes the U.S. government's assessment of Iran's responsibility for the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
"The secretary of state Pompeo says the U.S. assessment is Iran is responsible for the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Do you believe him, number one, and second, if this is Iran that's behind this, what should the U.S. do right now?" host Judy Woodruff asked.
"What I believe is that this is an administration that is gunning for war in Iran. What I believe is that we can resolve our differences with that country, which are significant, peacefully without invading yet another country in the Middle East. I want to make sure that we get to the bottom of the facts and find the evidence that the secretary of state is talking about," O'Rourke said. "I want to make sure that we convene the stakeholders in the region to address the instability that we see there, and I want to make sure that we rejoin our partner, our friends, and alliances that this president has turned his back on so that we can achieve our foreign policy goals in the Middle East with Iran and throughout the rest of the world."
The U.S. military published video on Friday which it says shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from one of the ships attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.
U.S. Central Command released a video that shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard (#IRGC) removing an unexploded mine from the side of one of the two oil tankers attacked earlier in the day. pic.twitter.com/mqU0ss0uq6
— Ahmad Batebi (@radiojibi) June 14, 2019
"At 4:10 p.m. local time an IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T Kokuka Courageous and was observed and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous," U.S. Central Command said in a statement.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the attacks "a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation," and said they are another example of "an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran."